In some embodiments, a computer-implemented method of managing a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is provided. A fleet management computing system receives telemetry information from a plurality of UAVs. The fleet management computing system generates a map interface having a plurality of UAV icons based on the telemetry information. The fleet management computing system receives a selection of an initial group of UAV icons via the map interface, wherein the initial group of UAV icons includes two or more UAV icons. The fleet management computing system receives a de-selection of one or more UAV icons from the initial group of UAV icons to create a final selected group of UAV icons. The fleet management computing system transmits a command to UAVs associated with the UAV icons of the final selected group of UAV icons.
In some embodiments, a system comprising a user device and a restriction management system is provided. The restriction management system includes one or more processors and at least one computer-readable medium. The computer-readable medium has logic stored thereon that, in response to execution by the one or more processors, cause the restriction management system to perform actions comprising receiving flight plan information, querying a restriction data store to retrieve an initial set of restriction definitions relevant to the flight plan information, generating information for presenting a checklist based on a comparison of restriction definitions from the initial set of restrictions to a set of checklist items, and transmitting the information for presenting the set of checklist items to the user device for presentation. In some embodiments, the flight plan information includes a planned flight area and a planned flight period of time.
Techniques for optimizing a restricted area for autonomous vehicle operations is provided. A fleet management system receives a definition of a general restricted area. The fleet management system collects information associated with the general restricted area. The fleet management system determines a specific restricted area based on the definition of the general restricted area and the collected information. The fleet management system controls one or more autonomous vehicles based on the specific restricted area. In some embodiments, the collected information includes aerial imagery and/or other environmental sensor data.
A method includes determining an operational condition associated with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The method includes, responsive to determining the operational condition, causing the UAV to perform a pre-flight check. The pre-flight check includes hovering the UAV above a takeoff location. The pre-flight check includes, while hovering the UAV, moving one or more controllable components of the UAV in accordance with a predetermined sequence of movements. The pre-flight check includes obtaining, by one or more sensors of the UAV, sensor data indicative of a flight response of the UAV to moving the one or more controllable components while hovering the UAV. The pre-flight check includes comparing the sensor data to expected sensor data associated with an expected flight response to the predetermined sequence of movements while hovering the UAV. The pre- flight check includes, based on comparing the sensor data to the expected sensor data, evaluating performance of the UAV.
A method includes determining a threshold capacity associated with at least a first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a second UAV. The method includes initially setting a target charge voltage of a first battery of the first UAV to less than a full charge voltage to limit a state of charge of the first battery based on the threshold capacity. The method includes, over a lifetime of the first battery of the first UAV, periodically comparing a full charge capacity of the first battery to the threshold capacity. The method includes, based on the comparing, periodically adjusting the target charge voltage of the first battery, such that, as the full charge capacity of the first battery decreases with age, the target charge voltage increases towards the full charge voltage of the first battery.
B60L 58/13 - Maintaining the SoC within a determined range
B60L 58/16 - Methods or circuit arrangements for monitoring or controlling batteries or fuel cells, specially adapted for electric vehicles for monitoring or controlling batteries responding to battery ageing, e.g. to the number of charging cycles or the state of health [SoH]
B60L 3/00 - Electric devices on electrically-propelled vehicles for safety purposes; Monitoring operating variables, e.g. speed, deceleration or energy consumption
B64C 39/02 - Aircraft not otherwise provided for characterised by special use
TERMINAL AREA NAVIGATION AND CONTROL OF UAVS FOR PACKAGE DELIVERY SYSTEM
A technique for controlling unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operating in proximity to a terminal area from which the UAVs are staged includes charging a plurality of the UAVs on charging pads disposed in a staging array at the terminal area. Merchant facilities for preparing packages for delivery by the UAVs are disposed about a periphery of the staging array. The UAVs are relocated under their own propulsion from interior charging pads to peripheral loading pads of the staging array as the peripheral loading pads become available and the UAVs are deemed sufficiently charged and ready for delivery missions.
A landing pad for an unmanned aerial vehicle ("UAV") is disclosed. The landing pad includes a support structure, a charging pad, and a plurality of movable UAV supports. The charging pad is coupled to the support structure and able to move relative to the support structure. The UAV supports are also coupled to the support structure and configured to translate along the support structure from a first position to a second position. When the UAV supports are in the first position, the charging pad supports the UAV. When the UAV supports are in the second position, the charging pad is lowered and the UAV supports then provide support to the UAV.
In some embodiments, techniques are provided for verifying operability of an automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) receiver included in a first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which includes receiving ADS-B data representative of ADS-B messages broadcast by traffic within a reception range of the ADS-B receiver during a first period of time, estimating a traffic environment for a service area spanning, at least in part, a first operating area of the first UAV during the first period of time, determining an expected observed traffic of the first UAV during the first period of time based on the estimated traffic environment, and verifying operability of the ADS-B receiver of the first UAV based on a comparison between the expected observed traffic of the first UAV and the traffic associated with the ADS-B data received by the ADS-B receiver of the first UAV.
A propeller blade for an unmanned aerial vehicle ("UAV") is disclosed. The UAV includes a plurality of lift propellers and at least one thrust propeller. Each of the plurality of thrust propellers includes a thrust propeller blade coupled to a hub of the thrust propeller. The thrust propeller blade is configured such that a centrifugal force acting on the thrust propeller blade causes a thrust propeller disk area to increase from a first disk area when the UAV is in a first operational state to a second disk area when the UAV is in a second operational state.
A technique for detecting an environmental change to a delivery zone via an unmanned aerial vehicle includes obtaining an anchor image and an evaluation image, each representative of the delivery zone, providing the anchor image and the evaluation image to a machine learning model to determine an embedding score associated with a distance between representations of the anchor image and the evaluation image within an embedding space, and determining an occurrence of the environmental change to the delivery zone when the embedding score is greater than a threshold value.
An apparatus for visual navigation of a UAV includes a geo-fiducial mat and a plurality of geo-fiducials. The geo-fiducial mat includes a landing pad region that provides a location for aligning with a landing pad of a UAV and a survey point. The geo-fiducials are each specified for a unique directional and offset position in or about the landing pad region relative to the survey point. The geo-fiducials each includes a two-dimensional (2D) pattern that visually conveys an alphanumerical code. The 2D pattern has a shape from which a visual navigation system of the UAV can visually triangulate a position of the UAV.
A method is provided that includes causing an operational member of a system to move. The method includes driving a power or control signal through a conductive coupling member. The conductive coupling member is connected between a first terminal and a second terminal in a power circuit, and the coupling member secures the operational member to a structural member of the system. The method includes detecting an electrical disconnect between the first terminal and a second terminal. The method includes determining a mechanical break associated with the coupling member based on the electrical disconnect between the first terminal and the second terminal. The method includes causing the operational member of the system to stop moving based on determining the mechanical break associated with the coupling member.
A technique for validating a balcony to receive delivery of a parcel via a UAV includes obtaining a first identification of a general location of the balcony; generating a first image representing a building including the balcony where the first image is selected based upon the location identified; obtaining a second identification or a confirmation of a precise location of the balcony in the building where the second identification or the confirmation are received in response to an end-user interaction with the first image; determining a deliverability score based at least in part on the precise location of the balcony; and indicating an enrollment status to the end-user where the enrollment status is generated based upon the deliverability score.
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) includes a propulsion system, a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) sensor, a camera and a controller. The controller includes logic that, in response to execution by the controller, causes the UAV to in response to detecting a loss of tracking by the GNSS sensor determine an estimated location of the UAV on a map based on a location image captured by the camera, determine a route to a destination using tracking parameters embedded in the map, wherein the map is divided into a plurality of sections and the tracking parameters indicate an ease of determining a location of the UAV using images captured by the camera with respect to each section, and control the propulsion system to cause the UAV to follow the route to the destination.
G01C 21/16 - Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in groups by using measurement of speed or acceleration executed aboard the object being navigated; Dead reckoning by integrating acceleration or speed, i.e. inertial navigation
G05D 1/10 - Simultaneous control of position or course in three dimensions
G06T 7/73 - Determining position or orientation of objects or cameras using feature-based methods
In some embodiments, aerial images of a geographic area are captured by an autonomous vehicle. In some embodiments, the locations of structures within a subset of the aerial images are manually annotated, and geographical locations of the manual annotations are determined based on pose information of the camera. In some embodiments, a machine learning model is trained using the manually annotated aerial images. The machine learning model is used to automatically generate annotations of other images of the geographic area, and the geographical locations determined from the manual annotations are used to determine an accuracy probability of the automatic annotations. The automatic annotations determined to be accurate may be used to re-train the machine learning model to increase its precision and recall.
A technique for controlling an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) includes monitoring a sensed airspeed of the UAV, obtaining a commanded speed for the UAV, wherein the commanded speed representing a command to fly the UAV at a given speed relative to an airmass or to Earth, and when the commanded speed is greater than the sensed airspeed, using the commanded speed in lieu of the sensed airspeed to inform flight control decisions of the UAV.
In some embodiments, techniques are provided for analyzing time series data to detect anomalies. In some embodiments, the time series data is processed using a machine learning model. In some embodiments, the machine learning model is trained in an unsupervised manner on large amounts of previous time series data, thus allowing highly accurate models to be created from novel data. In some embodiments, training of the machine learning model alternates between a fitting optimization and a trimming optimization to allow large amounts of training data that includes untagged anomalous records to be processed. Because a machine learning model is used, anomalies can be detected within complex systems, including but not limited to autonomous vehicles such as unmanned aerial vehicles. When anomalies are detected, commands can be transmitted to the monitored system (such as an autonomous vehicle) to respond to the anomaly.
Techniques are provided to improve routing of autonomous vehicles through highly congested areas. In some embodiments, routes that include sequences of timed space reservations are provided to autonomous vehicles by a route reservation system. In some embodiments, the route reservation system detects route alteration states (including but not limited to an arrival of an autonomous vehicle at a waiting area), determines a new route for the autonomous vehicle that passes through the highly congested area, and transmits the new route to the autonomous vehicle for navigating from the waiting area to an endpoint.
In an embodiment, one or more computer-readable storage medium comprising a plurality of instructions to cause an apparatus, in response to execution by one or more processors of the apparatus, to receive sounds emanating from one or more motors included in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) during operation of the one or more motors; predict a number of operational cycles remaining before the one or more motors is to fail based on analysis of the sounds; and, based on the determination of the number of operational cycles remaining, restrict the UAV from normal use. The one or more motors comprises a vertical or horizontal propulsion motor of the UAV.
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) navigation systems include a UAV charging pad positioned at a storage facility, a plurality of fiducial markers positioned at the storage facility, and a UAV. Each fiducial marker is associated with a fiducial dataset storing a position of the fiducial marker, and each fiducial dataset is stored in a fiducial map. The UAV has a navigation system that includes a camera, a fiducial navigation sub-system, a non-fiducial navigation sub-system, and logic that when executed causes the UAV to image a first fiducial marker with the camera, to transition from a non-fiducial navigation mode to a fiducial navigation mode, to access from the fiducial map the fiducial dataset storing the position of the first fiducial marker, and to navigate based upon the fiducial dataset storing the position of the first fiducial marker, into alignment with and land on the UAV charging pad.
In an embodiment, an apparatus includes a plurality of electrical contacts, wherein first and second electrical contacts of the plurality of electrical contacts electrically couple with a charging device; one or more rechargeable batteries configured to be charged from power received, via the first and second electrical contacts, from the charging device; and circuitry configured to obtain battery state information associated with the one or more rechargeable batteries during charging of the one or more rechargeable batteries and generate battery charge rate data based on the battery state information. At least one of the first and second electrical contacts is configured to transmit the battery charge rate data to the charging device, and the battery charge rate data is configured to be used by the charging device to regulate charging of the one or more rechargeable batteries.
B60L 58/18 - Methods or circuit arrangements for monitoring or controlling batteries or fuel cells, specially adapted for electric vehicles for monitoring or controlling batteries of two or more battery modules
B60L 53/10 - Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles characterised by the energy transfer between the charging station and the vehicle
B64C 39/02 - Aircraft not otherwise provided for characterised by special use
B64D 27/24 - Aircraft characterised by the type or position of power plant using steam, electricity, or spring force
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) includes one or more sources of propulsion, a power source, and communication system. The UAV also includes a controller coupled to the communication system, the power source, and the one or more sources of propulsion. The controller includes logic that when executed by the controller causes the UAV to perform operations, including measuring a power source charge level of the UAV; sending a signal including the power source charge level of the UAV to an external device; receiving movement instructions from the external device; and engaging the one or more sources of propulsion to move the UAV from a first location on a storage rack to a second location within a storage facility.
B64C 39/02 - Aircraft not otherwise provided for characterised by special use
B64D 27/24 - Aircraft characterised by the type or position of power plant using steam, electricity, or spring force
B60L 58/12 - Methods or circuit arrangements for monitoring or controlling batteries or fuel cells, specially adapted for electric vehicles for monitoring or controlling batteries responding to state of charge [SoC]
B60L 53/30 - Constructional details of charging stations
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is provided including a fuselage, a pair of wings extending outwardly from the fuselage, and a deployable surface moveable from a first undeployed position during normal flight to a second deployed position when there is a system failure during flight. A method of adjusting a center of pressure of a UAV is also provided including the steps of providing a U AV with a fuselage, a pair of wrings extending outwardly from the fuselage, and a deployable surface moveable from a first undeployed position during norma! flight to a second deployed position when there is a system failure during flight, sensing when there is a system failure, and moving the deployable surface from the first undeployed position to the second deployed position.
An apparatus and method for transporting a payload are disclosed herein. In embodiments, a system for transporting a payload includes an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) including a payload coupling apparatus, and a containment apparatus having an aerodynamic shape and including first and second openings. The containment apparatus is located external to the UAV and attaches to an underside of the UAV. The payload coupling apparatus passes through the first and second openings of the containment apparatus to couple with the payload, and the payload passes through the second opening to be positioned inside or outside the containment apparatus.
A payload loading system is disclosed. The payload loading system includes a UAV and a loading structure. A retractable tether is coupled to a payload coupling apparatus at a distal end and the UAV at a proximate end. A payload is loaded to the UAV by coupling the payload to the payload coupling apparatus. The loading structure of the payload loading system includes a landing platform and a tether guide. The tether guide is coupled to the landing platform and directs the tether as the UAV approaches and travels across at least a portion of the landing platform such that the payload coupling apparatus arrives at a target location. The payload is loaded to the payload coupling apparatus while the payload coupling apparatus is within the target location.
A propulsion unit includes a motor rotor, propeller blades, and a pivot stop. The motor rotor spins about a central rotational axis. The propeller blades, including first and second propeller blades, each having a proximal base mounted to the motor rotor such that the propeller blades are rotatable about the central rotational axis. The second propeller blade is pivotally attached to the motor rotor to pivot about the central rotational axis independent of the motor rotor by a limited angle. The pivot stop mechanically limits an amount of pivoting of the second propeller blade relative to the first propeller blade.
An aerial vehicle (100) may include a control unit (310) configured to send control signals in order to control flight of the aerial vehicle (100), propulsion units (110) configured to control the attitude of the aerial vehicle, propulsion controllers configured to send commands to a corresponding propulsion unit of the propulsion units (110) based on the control signals, and inertial measurement units (IMU 320). Each of the IMUs (320) is configured to provide attitude information to a corresponding one of the propulsion controllers. In this way, there is one propulsion controller for each of the propulsion units and one IMU for each of the propulsion controllers. When there is a failure at the control unit, each of the propulsion control unit units are configured automatically generate the commands and control the propulsion units in order to attempt to stabilize the aerial vehicle.
A modular housing structure for housing a plurality of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) includes a plurality of housing segments and a plurality of landing pads. The plurality of housing segments are shaped to mechanically join together to define an interior of the modular housing structure. The individual housing segments have a common structural shape that repeats when assembled to form the modular housing structure. The plurality of landing pads are positioned within the individual housing segments, each of the landing pads sized to physically support and charge a corresponding one of the UAVs.
A payload retrieval apparatus (950) including a structure having an outwardly facing portion (952), a payload support member (970) adapted for having a payload (510) positioned thereon, one or more magnets (930) or a metal positioned on or within the outwardly facing portion of the structure (952) adapted to magnetically engage one or more magnets (830) or a metal positioned on a payload retriever (800) attached to a tether (900) suspended from a UAV (100), wherein when the payload (510) is positioned on the payload support member (970), the payload support member is movable to position a handle (511) of the payload adjacent the one or more magnets (930) or the metal on or within the outwardly facing portion (952) of the structure.
Disclosed herein are methods and systems that can help an aerial transport service provider (ATSP) select an unmanned vehicle (UV) to deliver a temperature-sensitive item. In accordance with example embodiments, the ATSP system can generate a transport task to fulfill a request for delivery of the temperature-sensitive item, where the transport task involves delivering the item while maintaining a temperature of the item within a preferred temperature range. The system can calculate an amount of required energy to perform the transport task for each available UV of the fleet of UVs. Further, based on (i) the amount of required energy for each available UV, and (ii) a respective remaining battery energy level for each available UV, the ATSP system can select a first UV to perform the task. Yet further, the ATSP system can assign the transport task to the first UV.
A mechanical joiner for an airframe includes a joiner core and first and second caps. The joiner core has a first side with a first cradle shaped to hold a first structural member and a second side with a second cradle shaped to hold a second structural member. The first cap is shaped to mate to the first side and clamp the first structural member into the first cradle. The joiner core includes a first hole for a first mechanical fastener to extend through and across the first cradle and secure the first cap to the joiner core. The second cap is shaped to mate to the second side and clamp the first structural member into the second cradle. The second cap includes second holes for second mechanical fasteners, distinct from the first mechanical fastener, to secure the second cap to the joiner core.
Aspects of the disclosure relate to delivery systems including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). For instance, a UAV may have one or more computing devices. These computing devices may be configured to receive sensor data for a predetermined delivery area and use the sensor data to identify one or more grid cells of a grid corresponding to a map of the predetermined delivery area. The identified grid cells correspond to locations acceptable for delivery by the UAV. The computing devices may also be configured receive, from a mobile receptacle unit (MRU), information identifying a set of grid cells of the grid identified by the MRU as being acceptable for delivery, determine a delivery location by identifying a common grid cell between the identified one or more grid cells and the set of grid cells, and send the common grid cell to the MRU in order to attempt a delivery.
A technique for controlling vertical propulsion units of an aerial vehicle includes determining whether an initial thrust command output vector results in a thrust command clipping of one of the vertical propulsion units. The vertical propulsion units are physically organized into propulsion rings including an inner ring and an outer ring. Torque associated with the initial thrust command output vector is transferred from each the vertical propulsion units in the outer ring to the vertical propulsion units in the inner ring when the thrust command clipping of one of the vertical propulsion units in the outer ring occurs. A revised thrust command output vector is determined after transferring the torque. The vertical propulsion units are driven according to the revised thrust command output vector.
An aerial vehicle includes an airframe; vertical propulsion units, and a controller. The vertical propulsion units are mounted to the airframe and include propellers oriented to provide vertical propulsion to the aerial vehicle. The vertical propulsion units are physically organized in quadrants on the airframe with each of the quadrants including two or more of the vertical propulsion units. The controller is coupled to the vertical propulsion units to control operation of the vertical propulsion units. At least two of the vertical propulsion units in each of the quadrants are adapted to counter-rotate from each other during flight of the aerial vehicle.
A propulsion unit includes a motor rotor, a clip-in base mount, a clip-in rotor cap, propeller mounts, and propeller blades. The motor rotor spins about a central rotational axis. The clip-in base mount is disposed on the motor rotor. The clip-in rotor cap is shaped to mate with and detachably clip into the clip-in base mount. The propeller mounts are attached to the clip-in rotor cap. The propeller blades each have a proximal base and a distal tip. The proximal base of each propeller blade mounts to a corresponding one of the propeller mounts.
Aspects of the disclosure relate to identifying and responding to problem conditions for a fleet of aerial vehicles. This may include receiving at one or more processors of one or more server computing devices sensor feedback from an AV of the fleet. A problem condition may be identified using the sensor feedback. A mitigation response for the problem condition relating to a mission assigned to the aerial vehicle may be determined. The mitigation response may be sent to the AV in order to cause the aerial vehicle to maneuver according to the mitigation response and thereby automatically respond to the problem condition.
A payload coupling apparatus is provided that includes a housing having an upper portion, a lower portion, and a side wall positioned between the upper and lower portions, an attachment point on the housing adapted for attachment to a first end of a tether, a slot m the housing that extends downwardly towards a center of the housing thereby forming a hook or lip on the lower portion of the housing beneath the slot, a plurality of holes in the upper portion of the housing: and a plurality of holes in the lower portion of the housing. A method of retracting a payload coupling apparatus during UAV flight is also provided.
A portable autonomous vehicle connectivity platform includes a portable case, a local area network (LAN) side adapter, a wide area network (WAN) side adapter, a gateway router, and a controller. The LAN side adapter is communicates with autonomous vehicles (AVs). The WAN side adapter communicates with a remote server. The gateway router bridges communications between the LAN side adapter and the WAN side adapter. The controller is coupled to the gateway router for caching mission log reports received from the AVs and transmitting the mission log reports to the remote server.
An apparatus for retrieval of a payload by a tether attached to a UAV, including an extending member having an upper end and a lower end, a channel having a first end and a second end, the channel first end structurally coupled to the upper end of the extending member, two arms suitable for engagement of the tether attached to the UAV that extend in different directions from the first end of the channel, and a payload holder positioned substantially adjacent the second end of the channel and adapted to secure a payload.
An example system includes an aerial vehicle, a sensor, and a winch system. The winch system includes a tether disposed on a spool, a motor operable to apply a torque to the tether, and a payload coupling apparatus coupled to the tether and configured to mechanically couple to a payload. The system also includes a repositioning apparatus configured to reposition the payload coupling apparatus in at least a horizontal direction. A control system is configured to control the aerial vehicle to deploy the payload coupling apparatus by unwinding the tether from the spool; receive, while the aerial vehicle hovers above the payload and from the sensor, data indicative of a position of the payload coupling apparatus in relation to the payload; and reposition, using the repositioning apparatus and based on the data, the payload coupling apparatus in the horizontal direction to mechanically couple to the payload.
An example method involves determining an expected demand level for a first type of a plurality of types of transport tasks for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the first type of transport tasks associated with a first payload type. Each of the UAVs is physically reconfigurable between at least a first and a second configuration corresponding to the first payload type and a second payload type, respectively. The method also involves determining based on the expected demand level for the first type of transport tasks, (i) a first number of UAVs having the first configuration and (ii) a second number of UAVs having the second configuration. The method further involves, at or near a time corresponding to the expected demand level, providing one or more UAVs to perform the transport tasks, including at least the first number of UAVs.
A computer implemented method of distributing noise exposures to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over a neighborhood includes: receiving flight routing requests to fly the UAVs over the neighborhood; accessing a noise exposure map stored in a noise exposure database in response to the flight routing requests; and generating new flight paths for the UAVs over the neighborhood that load level additional noise exposures that the new flight paths will contribute to the noise exposure map. The noise exposure map includes noise exposure values indexed to properties within the neighborhood. The noise exposure values quantify cumulative noise exposures of the properties due to historical flight paths of the UAVs over the neighborhood.
Systems and methods for image based localization for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are disclosed. In one embodiment, a method for navigating a UAV includes: flying a UAV along a flight path; acquiring an image of a ground area along the flight path with a camera carried by the UAV; and sending the image to a base station. The method further includes receiving navigation data from the base station, based upon a comparison of the image of the ground area to at least one terrestrial map of the flight path.
Methods and systems for recipient-assisted recharging during delivery by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) are disclosed herein. During a UAV transport task, a UAV determines that the UAV has arrived at a delivery location specified by a first flight leg of the transport task. The UAV responsively initiates a notification process indicating that a recipient-assisted recharging process should be initiated at or near the delivery location. When the UAV determines that the recipient-assisted recharging process has recharged a battery of the UAV to a target level, and also determines that a non-returnable portion of the payload has been removed from the UAV while a returnable portion of the payload is coupled to or held by the UAV, the UAV initiates a second flight segment of the transport task.
Example implementations may relate to self-deployment of operational infrastructure by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Specifically, a control system may determine operational location(s) from which a group of UAVs is to provide aerial transport services in a geographic area. For at least a first of the operational location(s), the system may cause a first UAV from the group to perform an infrastructure deployment task that includes (i) a flight from a source location to the first operational location and (ii) installation of operational infrastructure at the first operational location by the first UAV. In turn, this may enable the first UAV to operate from the first operational location, as the first UAV can charge a battery of the first UAV using the operational infrastructure installed at the first operational location and/or can carry out item transport task(s) at location(s) that are in the vicinity of the first operational location.
Example implementations may relate to door-enabled loading and release of payloads in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which could be a type of UAV in a group of UAVs that is assigned to carry out certain transport tasks. In particular, the UAV may include a fuselage having a first side and a second side, as well as a chamber formed within the fuselage and arranged to house a payload. A first door may be arranged on the first side of the fuselage, such that an opening of the first door enables loading of the payload into the chamber. And a second door may be arranged on the second side of the fuselage, such that an opening of the second door enables release of the payload from the chamber. Moreover, the UA.V may include a control system configured to control flight of the UAV, and possibly opening and/or closing of door(s).
A payload coupling apparatus is provided that includes a housing. The housing is adapted for attachment to a first end of a tether. The apparatus further includes a slot extending downwardly from an outer surface of the housing towards a center of the housing thereby forming a lower lip on the housing beneath the slot. The slot is adapted to receive a handle of a payload. The apparatus further includes a sensor configured to detect touchdown of the payload and a transmitter configured to send a touchdown confirmation signal to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based on a touchdown detection by the sensor.
Disclosed herein are methods and systems that can help an aerial transport service provider (ATSP) determine how to distribute and redistribute unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) amongst a plurality of UAV deployment stations located throughout a geographic area. In accordance with example embodiments, the ATSP system can take one or more performance metrics for item providers into account when determining how much UAV transport capacity to allocate to different item providers for a given time period. The ATSP can then determine how to distribute UAVs amongst different UAV nests in advance of and/or during the given time period, such that each item provider's allocated UAV transport capacity is available from the UAV nest or nest(s) that serve each item provider during the given time period.
Example implementations relate to a method of dynamically updating a transport task of a UAV. The method includes receiving, at a transport-provider computing system, an item provider request for transportation of a plurality of packages from a loading location at a given future time. The method also includes assigning, by the transport-provider computing system, a respective transport task to each of a plurality of UAVs, where the respective transport task comprises an instruction to deploy to the loading location to pick up one or more of the plurality of packages. Further, the method includes identifying, by the transport-provider system, a first package while or after a first UAV picks up the first package. Yet further, the method includes based on the identifying of the first package, providing, by the transport-provider system, a task update to the first UAV to update the respective transport task of the first UAV.
A rotor unit is disclosed. The rotor unit includes a hub and a stacked rotor blade. The hub is configured to rotate about an axis in a first rotation direction. The stacked rotor blade is rotatable about the axis and further includes a first blade element and a second blade element. The first blade element has a first leading edge and the second blade element has a second leading edge. The blade elements are arranged in a stacked configuration. A leading edge of the stacked rotor blade is formed by at least a portion of the first leading edge of the first blade element as well as at least as portion of the second leading edge of the second blade element. In some embodiments, the rotor unit is coupled to an unmanned aerial vehicle.
B32B 5/26 - Layered products characterised by the non-homogeneity or physical structure of a layer characterised by the presence of two or more layers which comprise fibres, filaments, granules, or powder, or are foamed or specifically porous one layer being a fibrous or filamentary layer another layer also being fibrous or filamentary
A technique of controlling tonal noises produced by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) includes generating thrust with a plurality of rotor units mounted to the UAV to propel the UAV into flight. Each of the rotor units includes a bladed rotor. A rotation rate or a phase delay of at least one of the rotor units is adjusted relative to another of the rotor units. The adjustment causes a spread in the tonal noises generated by the rotor units.
A payload retrieval system including a UAV having a payload receptacle (550) positioned within the UAV, a payload coupling apparatus (400) positioned within the payload receptacle (550), a tether (404) having a first end secured within the UAV and a second end attached to the payload coupling apparatus (400), and a payload guiding member positioned on an underside of the UAV for guiding at least part of a payload into the payload receptacle (550) during retrieval of a payload.
Example implementations may relate to using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) dedicated to deployment of operational infrastructure, with such deployment enabling charging of a battery of a UAV from a group of UAVs. More specifically, the group of UAVs may include at least (i) a first UAV of a first type configured to deploy operational infrastructure and (ii) a second UAV of a second type configured to carry out a task other than deployment of operational infrastructure. With this arrangement, a control, system may determine an operational location at which to deploy operational infrastructure, and may cause the first UAV to deploy operational infrastructure at the operational location. Then, the control system may cause the second UAV to charge a battery of the second U AV using the operational infrastructure deployed by the first UAV at the operational location.
Stations for deployment, recharging and/or maintenance of a plurality of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are disclosed herein. Such deployment stations can be implemented in a container that includes a robotic arm and a conveyor system. The robotic arm can secure a UAV hovering outside the station, move the UAV inside the station, and transfer the UAV to the conveyor. The conveyor can couple to and move multiple UAVs. Further, charging systems may be integrated in such deployment stations to charge UAVs when coupled to and moving along the conveyer. Further, process pieces may be utilized to simplify mechanical and electrical interfacing between a UAV, the robotic arm, the conveyor, the charging system and/or other systems at the UAV station.
An example method of manufacturing a wing includes providing a wing frame. The wing frame includes a primary spar, a drag spar, a plurality of transverse frame elements having at least one spar joiner, and a plurality of mourning elements. The primary spar is coupled to the drag spar via the at least one spar joiner. The method further includes placing the wing frame- into a mold, wherein the mold defines a shape of the wing. The method also includes injecting the mold with an air-filled matrix material, such that the air-filled matrix material substantially encases the wing frame and fills the defined shape of the wing, and such that the plurality of transverse frame elements provide torsional rigidity to the wing.
B29C 45/14 - Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor incorporating preformed parts or layers, e.g. injection moulding around inserts or for coating articles
Systems for wing structure and attachment to frame for Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) are disclosed herein. In one embodiment, a UAV includes an H-frame having a wing spar (112) secured to two or more boom carriers (212). The wing spar includes two or more mounting locations, where each of the two or more mounting locations of the wing spar secures a horizontal propulsion unit. The boom carriers include a plurality of mounting locations, each of the plurality of mounting locations of the boom carriers securing a vertical propulsion unit (242). The UAV also includes a pre-formed wing shell attached to the H-frame.
Example embodiments can help to more efficiently charge unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a plurality of UAVs that provide delivery services. An example method includes: determining demand data indicating demand for item-transport services by the plurality of UAVs during a period of time; determining battery state information for the plurality of UAVs, wherein the battery state information is based at least in part on individual battery state information for each of two or more of the UAVs; based at least in part on (a) the demand data for item-transport services by the plurality of UAVs, and (b) the battery state information for the fleet of UAVs, determining respective charge-rate profiles for one or more of the UAVs; and sending instructions to cause respective batteries of the one or more of the UAVs to be charged according to the respectively determined charge-rate profiles.
A modular fuselage for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) includes a battery module, an avionics module, and a mission payload module. The battery module houses a battery to power the UAV. The avionics module houses flight control circuitry of the UAV. The mission payload module houses equipment associated with a mission of the UAV. The battery module, the avionics module, and the mission payload module are detachable from each other and mechanically securable to each other to contiguously form at least a portion of the modular fuselage of the UAV.
Embodiments relate to a client-facing application for interacting with a transport service that transports items via unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). An example graphic interface may allow a user to order items to specific delivery areas associated with their larger delivery location, and may dynamically provide status updates and other functionality during the process of fulfilling a UAV transport request.
Described herein are apparatuses for passively releasing a payload of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). An example apparatus may include, among other features, (i) a housing; (ii) a swing arm coupled to the housing, wherein the swing arm is operable to toggle between an open position and a closed position; (iii) a spring mechanism adapted to exert a force on the swing arm from the open position toward the closed position; (iv) a receiving system of a UAV adapted to receive the housing, wherein the receiving system causes the swing arm to be arranged in the open position; and (v) a spool operable to unwind and wind a tether coupled to the housing, wherein unwinding the tether causes a descent of the housing from the receiving system, and wherein winding the tether causes an ascent of the housing to the receiving system.