One drone enthusiast/aspiring aerospace engineer by the name of Stefano Rivellini claims that he has built the “world’s first bladeless drone.” But before you get excited, this ain’t no Dyson’s bladeless technology which the British company has used in its hairdryer and various fans; in fact, it is not quite bladeless as it says it is. Instead of the usual exposed rotor blades, Rivellini uses four ducted fans buried inside carbon fiber tube ducting. Here’s the official description:
“With 4 ducted fans, and some carbon fiber, I built a bladeless drone that I think is one of safest in the world. It uses 4, 90mm ducted fan propulsion units buried deep inside what I call a “bent tube” propulsor. The fifth “leg” is a parachute can. Hopefully I will never need it. With some help from my dad, we built the entire airframe primarily out of carbon fiber and some balsa wood. I bought all the electronics on line and was able to design the drone so that it would operate with a standard DJI multi rotor flight controller even though it doesn’t have vertically oriented propellers. With its top mesh installed its virtually impossible to get fingers and objects in contact with the blades. I submitted a patent application for my invention. I think a drone like this could have industrial applications where a drone needs to operate close to people, objects, and in confined spaces to do inspection and other activities.”
So, as you can see, it is not quite bladeless per se. It has blades. Just that it is hidden away and thus, obviously, a lot safer than current horde of drones, but OK… Despite it not being truly bladeless, this is still real innovation nonetheless. Also, I think it looks super cool. Like some alien technology. Now, if we could only quell the ding it makes, it will be an awesome flying rig. Just saying… Anyways, have a look at the bladeless drone’s first test flight in the video below.
Images: YouTube (Stefano Rivellini).