What it does
Impeller drone is a drone without propellers. It can be safer compared to traditional quadcopter drones because it has no exposed rotor blades. The aim of this project is to design a safer drone for users and public place.
For the last 4,5 years, the number of drone in the world increase dramatically, while accidents made by drone gradually increasing. The most common drone accident, which is people got cut and hurt by drone’s expose rotor blades. Hence, in order to solve this problem by innovation way, I design a drone without propellers.
How it works
This drone uses the impeller system to replace propellers on the normal drones (quadcopters). The impeller system sucks air in through the vents on the side of the drone and then accelerates it through a circular duct, creating an upward thrust as the air is pushed out through the bottom.
Impeller drone development is focused on how to produce thrust without exposed blades. Therefore, after my researched, I found three potential technologies could replace propellers on drones. After my prototyping and testing, the result shows only the blower impeller system can work for the drone. Because it has no exposed blades, can produce powerful thrust and also lightweight. Hence, I started to focus on the different type of blower impeller system. After design and prototyping, I successfully completed vertical takeoff and landing testing. After this, I try different impellers and volute casing design, in order to increase thrust performance. Overall, I have made, six different impellers, four different volute casing, nozzles, impellers drone prototypes and failed almost 12 times, finally successfully to get the bladeless drone fly. In the end, I started to optimized drone’s body structure, and test by stress simulation, in order to create a lightweight drone body.
How it is different
For the approaching angle of this design challenge, I want to discover and design something new to replace traditional drone propellers, rather than design a cage or a protection attachment for drones. After my research interviewing, nowadays there are several solutions for drone safety issues, such as cages design, protection attachments or even the government’s regulations. However, all of these solutions above are not my approach angles, as an industrial designer, I want to solve this problem by innovation way and advance thinking. Hence, I want to design a “ something” which can replace drone propellers in the future, in order to create a safer drone flying experience for users and the public area. Therefore, this “something” is the challenge of my project.
This project shows bladeless drone has the ability to fly without rotor bladeless and create a safer drone environment. For bladeless drone users, they will not have to worry about it’s a dangerous product and hobbit. The application of drone in the future is dramatically increasing in many ways. The bladeless drone can create a safer user experience and the public environment for society.