Drones today are not toys. They have knife-sharp rotating blades, which spin at hundreds of times per minute. Drones are safe, when flown by a properly trained drone pilot. When they aren’t, that’s another story.
Aaron Weller, an RC enthusiast for 27 years, sees today’s drones as a real danger. Motivated by safety concerns, Aaron Weller and his company UAS Directions, have come up with a patent-pending new drone design he calls the “droplet.” Unlike most traditional rotorcopter designs the droplet is fully encased. A mesh like body encases all of the traditional drone equipment, propellers, cameras, batteries, sensors, etc. The design also acts a cushion for the internal mechanical parts, reducing the chance of damage in a crash. While the initial prototype and first-generation droplets are all oval, the design can be customized into a variety of shapes and sizes.
In a recent press release, Aaron Weller is quoted saying “If we hope to gain acceptance of a safety conscious public, we have to address these safety issues. Our first uni-body platform, the Droplet V1, will change our industry permanently. The Droplet design speaks from the psychological vantage point of people who will come into close contact with drones. No one wants a “spider looking” blender on steroids delivering their future Amazon or DHL package or photographing over their heads at an event. I don’t…and I’m an unmanned aerial pilot of 27 years.” He continued saying “We want to protect that curious child from getting their fingers chopped off or territorial birds of prey from being maimed by exposed propeller blades.” In his mind “… if you can’t wrap your hands around a multi-rotor drone under full power, then it just isn’t practical.”
The first prototypes was handmade, but Weller is now moving to 3-D printing of the first model with the goal of beginning manufacturing by the end of the year. The 3-D printed model will be lighter and even more streamlined. Pricing could likely range from $10,000 to $50,000 commercially and between $800 and $1,200 for consumer models.
“To me, this is fun and it’s amazing, and my eyes light up when I talk about it,” said Weller. “I’m such a nerd about it, but everyone is a nerd about something.”