"LED Rocket" designed to let everyday folks launch aerial light shows
Fireworks may be fun to watch, but they're single-use-only, and they do produce a lot of smoke. The Rammaxx Electric LED Rocket is intended to be a cleaner, reusable alternative – and it can also perform aerial light shows.
Some readers may remember the Rammaxx company from last year, when it introduced its original Rammaxx Rocket.
That device incorporated a transparent cylindrical body containing a column of LEDs, which was launched into the air via a spring-loaded catapult. It flashed in various colors and patterns as it shot upwards, then deployed a set of unpowered rotor blades which auto-rotated to slow and control its descent.
The company's new Electric LED Rocket revamps that concept, by swapping in an LED-equipped rapid-ascent quadcopter drone.
Users start by utilizing an app to pre-program its flashing/color pattern, and its flight path. Upon being launched, it shoots up off of its wireless charging pad, carries out its programmed routine, then autonomously makes its way back down to the point of take-off. It can be set to ascend with a high-pitched whine at speeds of up to 80 mph (129 km/h), or to do so more slowly and quietly.
Additionally, up to five of the Electric LED Rockets can be programmed to work together as a swarm, in order to create more elaborate light shows. Each drone weighs 90 g (3 oz), can fly at full LED power for about one minute per 30-second charge of its battery, and has a total light output of 3,000 lumens.
Rammaxx CEO Dan Lubrich tells us that the company is even looking into developing a larger, more powerful version of the technology, which could one day be used to assist space rockets in take-off. In that system, the drones would serve as flying platforms which would give temporarily-attached rockets a fuel-saving boost off the launch pad.
"The goal is to get the rocket to a few hundred miles per hour, to save a good amount of fuel that is needed to get off the ground, and to some reasonable speed," he says. "Rocket engines, and jet engines too, are very inefficient at low speeds, which is what you have during a stationary take-off."
Plans call for the Rammaxx Electric LED Rocket to be the subject of a crowdfunding campaign, which should begin "very soon" – potential backers can check the product website for updates. The planned retail price is US$199 for one drone.
You can see some of the Rockets in action, in the following video.