Like a speaker, the ultrasonic transducers vibrate to push air, but instead of pumping out music, here they’re designed to generate just enough air movement to maneuver the craft in any direction, even up and down. The transducers are completely safe to touch, so crashes are no longer a safety risk, are much quieter than spinning propellers (making capturing audio from the blimp a possibility), and they require much less energy than electric motors do (the helium is doing most of the work to keep the drone aloft) so flight times can be considerably longer.

Advertisement
Advertisement

NTT Docomo has plans to commercialize the drone as early as March of next year, and in addition to improved safety, other features include the use of internal LEDs to turn each craft into a light show, as well as automated flight capabilities through the use of wireless data networks.