Drobotron: The World's First Flying Drone Billboard
Bobby Watts has created the world's first digital LED 360-degree drone-billboard.
Bobby Watts of Orlando, Florida has built the world's first digital 360-degree drone billboard. An avid model aircraft enthusiast, Watts was inspired to build the UAV-billboard by observing people's amazed reactions upon first encountering a drone being piloted. The billboard, which Watts calls "Drobotron", was stationed in front of Orlando's Parc Corniche Hotel. According to News4Jax, the Drobotron was hovering above the International Drive resort where it advertised pizza and margarita deals at the resort's restaurant. "Our patent revolves around a flying TV," says Watts. "The first time I saw it fly I thought, 'Wow, this is a game-changer.'"
The LED billboard drone, technically called the "Lumenix 360", was birthed when Watts noticed how impressed the casual citizen was by standard, basic drones being used for filming rockets he and his friends would shoot off at Cape Canaveral. Watts explains, "We've even been to the Cape filming rockets, and people will turn around from the rocket and look at our drones. As (sic) so I just figured, why not capitalize? Why not put your advertising, put your content on the drone itself?" Have a look at some of the specifications of this thing below, courtesy of Drobotron LLC.
It's certainly a natural progression of UAVs becoming ubiquitous in society, used in all sorts of markets and industries. Using a drone to advertise is smart - your billboard is no longer stationary. Not only can it relocate, but it can also display new content with simple uploads, rather than physically replacing the facade. According to News4Jax, the Drobotron can display text, videos, and photographs, all of which is easily uploaded pre-flight. Added to that, the intense, direct sunlight doesn't prevent onlookers from being able to make out what the Drobotron is displaying. Watts says that "Even on a bright sunny Florida day, you can see the screen for hundreds of feet." The Drobotron clearly impressed Chris Demko, the VP of the Park Corniche hotel, who said that "It's going to catch everyone's attention, help them stop in to get a room for a night or have a meal or (a) couple (of) drinks at our restaurant." Let's take a look at this thing in action, shall we?
Clearly, everyone's seeing dollar signs, which is good news for Watts. But he isn't adamant about his new invention replacing all current existing forms of outdoor-advertising. It's simply a new tool to use. He says that "In no way do we think this will replace a banner plane or the guy twirling the sign. It's just another medium for advertisers to use." In case you're interested in Drobotron's services, the company charges $200 per hour in order to fly over your business or event. And if you're really confident that this could attract mass amounts of new customers, you can join the pre-order list and purchase a Drobotron yourself for $20,000. According to Watts, the Drobotron is only the first step in a long line of more sophisticated models. "This is our first aircraft. We're working on bigger ones and bigger ones. So this is only the beginning."