Many parcel delivery drones of the future are expected to handle packages of up to five kilograms, which would allow small, standardized UAVs to take over a large percentage of deliveries currently made by land vehicles. But will heavier packages be left for slower delivery by conventional truck, van?
A research team at the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a modular solution for handling larger packages without a complex fleet of drones of different sizes. need. By allowing teams of small drones to work together to lift objects using an adaptive control algorithm, it may be possible to deliver a wide range of packages with a combination of several standard-sized vehicles.
In addition to simplifying the drone fleet, the work could allow for more robust drone operation and reduce the noise and safety concerns associated with flying large autonomous UAVs in populated areas. In addition to commercial parcel delivery, the system could also be used by the military to supply smaller groups of soldiers in the field.
“A delivery truck could carry up to a dozen drones at the back and, depending on how heavy a particular shipment is, it could use up to six drones to transport the package. This would provide flexibility in the weight of the packages that can be delivered and eliminate the need to build and maintain multiple delivery drones of different sizes. ” said Jonathan Rogers, a researcher in avionics integration at Lockheed Martin
The idea is to make multi-UAVs easy to fly together for the user. Difficult issues are solved by on-board intelligence, rather than expecting a person to accurately measure the weight, center of gravity, and position of drones relative to each other. This is intended to be so simple that even a baggage driver can operate the system without any problems. but they fly in shape. In this case, the unique dynamics of a given vehicle is not limited by what the other drones do. However, the drones attached to the package are exposed to the forces exerted by other vehicles in addition to the weight of the load carried.
A team of drones would connect autonomously to a docking device attached to the package using an infrared control system people should be needed to secure the vehicles. This can come in handy for drones flying away for packages returned by the customer. With the drone teams knowing how much thrust they are producing and what height they are at, they could even estimate the weight of the package they want to pick up. centimeter 6 pound box. The control algorithm is not limited to four vehicles, it can handle as much as can fit around the package.
Georgia Tech researchers believe that the key technologies are ready and within five years if properly invested. a system could be introduced to transport packages with multiple drones. This is not so much a technical challenge as a matter of regulation and social acceptance.
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