Advertising / Technology

Meet the ATOM 4000: a lean, mean, #dronevertising machine

Ryan Media Lab is trying to find new applications for its tethered-drone technology. Is this the next frontier in Delaware adtech?

The ATOM 4000 in action. (Courtesy photo)
It’s not a plane. It’s not a blimp. It’s an ad drone.

Yes, ad drones have now landed in Delaware thanks to the Ryan Media Lab family. Carvertise was the first company to create billboards on wheels in Delaware, now RML has become the first company in Delaware to create a billboard on wings. (It’s actually not the first “droneverstising” concept. Philadelphia’s DroneCast was an early pioneer in the space.)
Here’s how RML’s dronevertising works.
The next time you’re laying out at Rehoboth or Dewey (excuse the summertime scenario) and you see those planes hauling ads, the airspace might be just be occupied by a drone as well. This drone’s name? The ATOM 4000.
The ATOM part stands for “Aerial To Online Media” and the 4000 stands for the distance the drone is allowed to cover in a single location while tethered.
The system debuted on Friday, even though it has been in the works for a while. Why now? Well, RML just received FAA approval to fly drones using a patent-pending “Tethered Flight Control System For Unmanned Aircraft Systems.”
The unit is safe for use near the public because it’s not operated via remote control, it’s flown via tethered ground controls, which also makes it safe to operate in high-wind conditions.
“We were flying in 20 mph winds with zero concern of a fly-away drone,” said RML cofounder Mark Ryan. “The system is built to withstand 10 times that wind speed.” The unit can be mounted onto vehicles, on land or sea, and can jump up to 2,000 feet from the base within seconds.
No customers have signed up yet, but RML hopes to expand into guerrilla marketing with this new device.


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