Mohyi Labs: Developing A Bladeless drone

By Jane Whitttington on May 11th, 2016 / Comments

It used to be that when people talked about drones, they were discussing the male genders of various species such as bees or ants. Today, the definition of drone has come to mean an unmanned aerial vehicle.

We know these drones are used for military operations, surveillance, photography and even as toys. They can be used by farmers to survey crops, and some have been used to survey natural or manmade disasters and to deliver much-needed food and medicines.  A company named Matternet is using drones to deliver food and water to remote African villages. We hear promising forecasts of how they will be used by companies like Amazon to deliver goods to your door. High flying drones can be used to enhance news coverage, film sporting events and add new dimensions to movies and television. But we also hear about their danger if drones should stray into the flight paths of aircraft or if they crash in populated areas. From January to August of 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration reported over 700 close encounters between drones and airliners. Recently, they disrupted the use of firefighting equipment in wildfires in the West. It’s also possible that they might be used for nefarious purposes; an 18-year-old young man posted video of a drone remotely shooting a gun. Drones have promise and potential, but they are not risk-free.

John Mohyi has ideas, lots of ideas. And ideas about drone technology are foremost in his mind right now.

Mohyi is currently a law student at Michigan State University, but he has taken a semester off to dedicate himself to developing a bladeless drone that will be quieter, more efficient, and less expensive than what is currently available. He was invited to appear on the TV show “America’s Greatest Makers” in April. While he did not advance to the next round, he piqued the interest of the show’s panelists and received some sage advice which he is pursuing.

Working out of The Hatch, Michigan State University’s student business incubator, Mohyi is continuing to perfect his designs. His product development company, Mohyi Labs, allows him to pursue his many interests and ideas.

“I’ve always been an inventor, but right now my main focus is on bladeless drones,” he said. “My prototypes have gone through several iterations; I will continue to develop the technology until I arrive at the final version. The first improvement to traditional drone technology is that mine is bladeless. In addition, it has two counter-rotating rotors rather than the four rotors most drones now have. It will be smaller and the motors powering it will be internal.”

After receiving a grant from the State of Michigan and national attention from the show, he now has support from Intel (one of the show’s sponsors) to help build his first prototype.

In the long term, what Mohyi is aiming to produce is an off-the-shelf version which can support custom applications and will be ready for developers to adapt to their needs. Mohyi is conducting interviews with potential users to further hone his plug and play concept.

“Because my drone is bladeless, it increases both its safety and efficiency,” he said. “It can even be used underwater, a quality which brings with it another realm of possibilities.”

He continues, “Since it can be scaled up or down, it could conceivably be used for delivering cargo or even for personal transportation. Of course, I also anticipate that my technology could be of great interest to the military. I feel that I have only begun to unlock its full potential.”

With the many ideas currently inhabiting the brain of John Mohyi, it’s likely that new technological products from Mohyi Labs will find space in the marketplace. As Mohyi says, “I have a passion to create amazing things!


About the Author

Jane Whitttington

Jane Whitttington

Jane Whitttington is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Grand Rapids. A Michigan native and Michigan State University grad, she enjoys reading, travel, politics and volunteering.