NTT DOCOMO of Japan has come up with a special spherical drone display, making it the first of its kind in the whole world. A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle which is able to show off LED images on an omnidirectional spherical screen as it makes its way around in the skies, and this will certainly add another dimension to the growing number of drone pilots around the world. This particular device is made up of a spherical external frame, an internal LED frame that carries eight curved LED strips which will extend from the top all the way to the bottom. The drone itself will be fitted within the sphere, where its legs will protrude from below.
While it is in flight, the LED frame will then spin on its axis in a rapid horizontal motion, resulting in an afterimage effect that carries the illusion of a solid sphere of motionless LEDs. It is extremely agile, and this drone is said to be able to function just about anywhere, ranging from large scale venues such as stadiums, arenas and concert halls. One easy practical use that can it can identify with? To fly around such spaces during the performance, or perhaps to be used as a mobile advertising billboard, showcasing messages, event information, and who knows -- even a marriage proposal.
NTT DOCOMO’s drone features a spherical frame that has a maximum diameter of around 88 cm, where the whole device -- drone included, tips the scales at a mere 3.4 kg. It has a display that is not high resolution yet functional at 144 x 136 pixels. To date, having a drone carry a spherical display has proven itself to be a tough challenge, as such a display will interfere with the airflow when it comes to the propellers, not to mention increasing the display’s weight. Drones are meant to be as lightweight as possible, and yet not that light so that it does not get blown away by strong winds as it takes to the air. NTT DOCOMO’s solution? A mainly hollow display, reducing weight while enabling air to flow through it.
Just when will the masses be able to grab hold of this spherical drone display? NTT DOCOMO intends to commercialize it some time in the fiscal year ending in March 2019, so it is still going to be a long time more before you are able to get your hands on this. This means it is time for you to start saving up for one of these bad boys though, as you would certainly do well to be one of the first few people wrapping their fingers around it when it arrives.
If you would like to take a look at this drone before 2019 arrives, you can do so at the NTT ULTRA FUTURE MUSEUM 2017 as this spherical drone display will be shown off at the Niconico Chokaigi conference at Makuhari Messe which kicks off this April 29. There will even be a flight demonstration held within the event hall.