Eros Aerial LLC

World’s First Rotorless Drone Company

Photo of Michael Wiciak
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Written by

Additional categories (optional)

  • Education

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

December 1st 2000

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

www.Erosaerial.com Instagram: Wiciak_ Linkedin: Michael J. Wiciak

Date You Started Your Project Started

The idea started around May of 2015 The company officially began around June of 2018

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The problem I am attempting to address is that of the present danger of flying drones more specifically Quadchopters like DJI Phantoms. The motors on the drones spin at roughly 540 times a second. Placing propellers on them makes a flying blender. Drones have only gotten more popular in recent years (FAA estimates 1.25 million drones in current use) so it's only inevitable until the next major accident occurs and if it could have been prevented.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

My solution is to take conventional propulsion and put a new modern spin on it. The focus is on the safety of users and bystanders. The simple way to do this is to encase the propellers inside the frame so that it becomes impossible to be able to get cut or have propellors exposed. This makes the air come from out of a pressure chamber and work similarly to how an air compressor nozzle works with a high flow of air going through a small space. It is a new idea that no one else in the current market has achieved on a commercial level and has many benefits alongside safety.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

At the beginning of high school, I used to fly FPV (First-person view) drones competitively around Philadephia. On the train ride home from a race, I was listening to a podcast talking about a baby boy who lost his eye to the drone. Reading more into it a little boy named Oscar who was 18 months old when a drone hit a tree and fell out of the sky. While falling out of the sky, the propellers were still spinning. It hit oscar in the eye slicing his retina leading him to lose his eye. As someone who has ideas bouncing around constantly, I wanted to put an end to this and thus this is where the rotorless drone idea came about.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

One of the biggest goals for Eros Aerial is that of our production line. I grew up just outside Chester, Pa and it is overwhelmed with poverty and high gun violence. After taking philosophy classes and deeply questioning the social norms today, we want to be based in the U.S.A. I got opinions that it will be expensive if we go to people in the U.S. to manufacture. So why not just build it all ourselves. My goal is to be based in less fortunate areas to help build peoples lives up. This means to purchase a warehouse, get to the hiring process will be most who do not have a high school diploma and train them in manufacturing, coding, and development. This will let them have the skills necessary if they would like to do something else in other industries. It gives people knowledge that is otherwise very expensive and hard to acquire.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

What sets us apart from others is that no one is designing drones with safety as the top-selling point. You can use preventive actions such as using propeller guards or software, but nothing will beat taking down the problem as a whole. The production side will be based in the U.S. and have the primary goal of being located in underrepresented areas in hopes of being able to employ, teach, and advance peoples lives who are not as fortunate. This is something that is not seen in any other drone company. With the focus on workers being able to make a living for their families.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

It's hard trying to get something this large in scale off the ground. This could not be done without a lot of help and hard work. In 2017, my local community had an idea incubator starting up and being the fearless person that I am, decided to give it a whirl. Being apart of the 1st cohort of Dual School allowed me to be in contact with people currently in the drone industry as well as set me up for the University of Delaware's Diamond Challenge. It is a pitch competition for teens in the whole world who want their startup to be heard. Lots of practice and swearing later my partner and I were able to finish 3rd on the business pathway and received $3,500 in startup money. Placing us on the right path to purchase a 3D printer and start in-depth prototyping and allow us to officiate our brand.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

What's next? Being apart of a research institute allows me to have more tools at my disposal. Within a year I hope to have our company logo created, start and hopefully finish a couple of patents, refinement of our website, a focus on product development, as well as expanding my network. Focusing on Zeus 1 is my top prototype being bale to make prototypes near production-ready models. But what does that mean? Redesign the frame to be able to make battery replacement easier, create a lighter model and start testing with using gimbal setups as well as fit your own camera gimbal. To help further diversity we plan on starting a blueprint for the large scale carrier drone that will be proposed to Amazon.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Staff Development

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Donations between $1k-$5k

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Other

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Zack Jones

13 comments

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Spam
Photo of Nikil Ragav
Team

I love this idea of a drone where the rotors are fully enclosed - it's almost like a Dyson product

How big is this physically? I wasn't really able to tell from the photos.

How are you funding prototyping? Do you have to make a custom circuit board and write custom firmware/software for controlling the drone?

I also really like the idea of employing local folks to assemble the drones in the US once you get to that stage. There are definitely a lot of steps till you get there, but you're very much on the right tracks!

Spam
Photo of Michael Wiciak
Team

Hey Nikil,

Our proposed dimensions would be about a foot by a foot by 8 inches tall

At first, I was putting my own money into the venture but I won 3rd place in the University of Delaware's Diamond challenge which has helped us out with prototyping and legitimizing the company. For hardware I am currently using off the shelf consumer parts but as we grow my goal is to design our own custom boards, motors, software, and controllers.

Thank you so much, I've always tried to do my best to give back to the community.

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