NTT DOCOMO Develops Spherical Drone Display

Japan-based NTT DOCOMO has developed what the company describes as the first spherical drone display.

The system is made up of a spherical external frame, an internal LED frame with eight curved LED strips that extend from top to bottom, and a drone fitted inside the sphere with legs protruding underneath, according to a news release.

While the drone is flying, the LED frame rapidly spins on its axis in a horizontal motion. This creates the afterimage effect that gives the illusion of a solid sphere of motionless LEDs. The UAS can be operated just about anywhere, but is best suited for entertainment venues. It can fly as part of a performance in concert halls as well as deliver advertising and event information.

The UAS uses a largely hollow, lightweight display that allows air to flow through it, while still creating the afterimage effect. The company plans to commercialize the spherical drone display in March 2019 and is currently exploring potential entertainment and messaging solutions.