Multikopter on the principle of the doll or snitch catcher?
It is no secret that the main problem of drones on batteries is the time in flight mode. It is often suggested to solve it either by switching to a more energy-intensive source of energy, or by remote charging. I don’t take into account the original solution in the form of installation of solar panels on the copter, or work from a long wire.
My solution is much simpler, cheaper ... and reminds me of the process of playing with a toy known to the whole world.
To begin with, I will give examples of technologies that will form the basis of the "matryoshka".
Drone with hands to grab items. This will be the basis for the ability to provide a battery replacement process.
There is also a patent from IBM, which describes the "air relay" system. The drones in this case will have a movable guide plate installed in the lower part, where the bag would be held in place at the end of the sliding platform, equipped with an electromagnetic coupling device. Meanwhile, on the upper side there would be a special hand with a docking station at the end.
When ordering the package, warehouse workers would pack and ship the goods to the customer using the drone. Meanwhile, the client would send his own drone to meet for interception. Both devices working under the control of the "cloud" would meet at a certain point.
At the “meeting”, the device of the consignor would lower the package onto the platform, while the second one would open the upper arms, which would be connected to the lock. On the shipper’s drone, the bag is connected to a ring that moves along the associated blades. After docking with the recipient, a synchronous tilt of the drones occurred, after which the ring slides down the blade from the shipper's drone to the receiver, taking the package with it. After the ring is secured to the recipient's UAV, its platform slides down to provide electromagnetic protection for the package before it is prepared and secured. Then two UAVs are disconnected and go to the starting points.
We now turn to the "principle of separation of the masses."
First, we will disassemble an ordinary quadrocopter into the main components.
Most of them consist of a power source; driving mechanisms and payload.
Secondly, the interrelation of these elements is conditional, and the replacement by analog elements from other copters is quite allowed. You can vary the load on the power source by changing the weight of the payload, or by slightly removing the weight from the driving mechanisms (which can affect the strength and reliability of the drone).
The key constraint is the power source in this whole “triad” is the weakest link. It is this weakness that is easiest to “cure” by replacing it, but not on the ground ... but in the air!
To solve the problem of long-term stay in the air, we need a small quadcopter, with the function of delivering the battery to the main drone. There will already be a “docking” and “reloading” of a large multicopter using a manipulator arm (similar to the IBM patent).
Thus, the drone will be able to stay at a point indefinitely, or fly from a charge point in the air (provided that it is possible, if necessary, to “dock with the tanker”).
As a result of this decision, unnecessary waste of energy for lowering and raising is eliminated, and there is also the possibility of replacing part of the payload in the air (still with the same robo-arm).
From the side, the process will look like a folding doll. Especially if there will be several charging drones, and they will be of a different size (but still smaller than the main copter).
The algorithm of the small drone charging will be as follows:
- approach to the "legs" of the main copter for fixing (docking) with a robo-arm
- unloading-loading in a fixed position
- dropping down with an “old” acb, or an unnecessary “payload” down
This recharge option is not the only one in my opinion. There is another exotic. Here I will already draw an analogy with the fairy tale - Harry Potter, and more specifically, his game in Quidić.
During the game, the wizards caught an elusive ball with wings. Strange as it may sound, I suggest doing the same to the drone in the air, only in our case the snitch will be a battery with two guiding contact wings.
Our ball will fly true along a ballistic trajectory released from a pneumatic cannon into the sky. To catch his drone will need to "glove" -a manipulator, and then draw in for "use." After the discharged snitch drone is simply dropped down onto the receiving grid, or by analogy with the patent of the controlled release package from Amazon, it smoothly descends on a parachute.
It is worth noting that the drones have already learned how to catch objects using a speed manipulator. So one team of developers managed to create a quadrocopter, which is capable of grabbing "prey" in flight with the help of a three-toed claw. This kopter thus imitates the behavior of bald eagles, and the process takes place very quickly (2-3 m / s).
video "eagle hunting".
There is also a simpler example already in the movement of two “hunting” objects.
Thus, it will be possible to avoid unnecessary expenditure of energy on the rise of the battery, and its descent, but the risk of a miss will increase. Drone matryoshka of course in this regard is a more reliable option.
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