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Drone Airbag for Fall Amelioration

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244386D
Publication Date: 2015-Dec-08
Document File: 4 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system, method, and/or service that involves determining the probability of a human falling or slipping (e.g., based on sensors and sensing), and then signaling a nearby flying drone that is equipped with a deployable airbag. The drone airbag then deploys an amelioration action in response to the sensing and probability of the person’s fall.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 31% of the total text.

Page 01 of 4

Drone Airbag for Fall Amelioration

A system or method is needed to prevent or mitigate injuries caused by falls due to a person's instabilities from age or other physiological traits, dangers in the workplace, risky athletics (e.g. skiing, skating, cycling, etc.), etc.

The novel contribution is a system, method, and/or service that involve determining the probability of a human falling or slipping (e.g., using sensors and sensing). Based on this sensing and probability, the system sends a signal to a nearby flying drone that is equipped with a deployable airbag. The drone airbag then deploys an amelioration action in response to the sensing and probability, in order to help prevent injury.

Although the current description considers use of this system with the elderly population, it may also be of use in the workplace.

The drone airbag action is implemented as a positioning of the flying drone to become an airbag in order to mitigate the impact of the fall . Alternatively, the system can deploy a separate compressible object that is carried or is part of the drone body , etc. Deploying can even mean projecting the compressible object into position .

The system can also apply the user's profile to control the user of the airbag . A user's profile can include information such as cognitive/health state (e.g. pre-Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, autism, motor-control characteristics, stroke, use of limb prosthetics, etc.) The system can also monitor the user and store information about past falls or near-falls, and then make inferences about certain motor -control characteristics.

The drone airbag action may take place only within a specified radius (or specified surrounding area) of the current location of one or more high -risk people (e.g., elderly exhibiting motor challenges, workers in industrial settings, people with Alzheimer's disease, post-surgery recovery persons, etc.).

The drone airbag action may also be performed in the area of one or more high -risk persons as identified by a current cognitive state (e.g., nauseous, drowsy persons, dizzy, etc.).

The drone airbag action may be performed based on a forecast (and learning) of a potential fall and/or a likely location of a potential fall. Many situations can cause slips, trips, and falls, such as (but not limited to):

• Uneven or broken walking surfaces • Spills • Loose matting • Weather-related conditions (e.g., rain, snow, ice)

• Highly polished surfaces/floors that do not allow for adequate footwear traction
• Stairs with non-uniform tread heights

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A confidence level, C , of an impending fall may be estimated in real -time, and if the level of C is above a threshold value, then the drone airbag action takes place sooner than if C is low. In addition, the drone may fly faster to the estimated position of the fall . The threshold may be set by the user, employer, caregiver, and/or it may be learned and involve machine learning.

The system s...