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Imagine Your Ad Here: Drone Displays That Get Around

25 April 2017

A spherical drone designed to deliver advertising messages, event information and the like is one of the latest developments from Japanese mobile operator DOCOMO, INC. The company's pilotless aerial vehicle displays LED images on an omnidirectional screen while in flight and can be operated virtually anywhere—including venues such as concert halls and arenas.

Creating a device such as this previously had proved challenging due to issues like display weight and interference with the drone's propellers. DOCOMO's solution used a largely hollow, lightweight display that allows air to flow through it, yet still appears to be solid due to the afterimage created by rapidly spinning LEDs.

The device is composed of a spherical external frame (maximum diameter about 88 cm, or just under 3 feet), an internal frame consisting of eight curved LED strips extending from top to bottom, a drone fitted inside the sphere and legs protruding beneath. The LED frame spins horizontally on its axis during flight.
The entire device weighs about 3.4 kg (about 7.5 lbs.). The horizontal circumference of the display measures 144 pixels high by 136 pixels wide.

DOCOMO is exploring potential entertainment and messaging solutions for event venues and aims to commercialize the device in the fiscal year ending March 2019.

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