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Extending the range of urban delivery drones using train based mobile recharging platforms

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248114D
Publication Date: 2016-Oct-27
Document File: 1 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Extending the range of urban delivery drones using train based mobile recharging platforms

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Extending the range of urban delivery drones using train based mobile recharging platforms

Product retailers and distributors are investigating the use of drones to provide autonomous parcel delivery within urban areas . One of the limiting factors that impact the use of drones is the battery capacity, which limits the coverage area. A solution is needed to extend the coverage of the drone delivery.

The majority of the population in developed countries is located within a reasonable distance of a rail line. The solution describes a coordination system where by the drones can intelligently select a train or tram that's going in a similar direction to the intended delivery, and land on a recharging platform located on the train. This would allow the drone to extend its coverage, by conserving battery life due to the train covering some of the distance and the battery recharge during that time.

The drone would need to select the best route based on several metrics - looking for the stations and routes that will get it close to its destination. This can be done using existing mechanisms of finding the shortest path first to a destination. This allows the drone to not only change train, but accommodate a change in the train conditions - e.g. delayed train.

The landing platform on the train can be provided by landing pads on top of the train - in areas where there are no height restrictions. Otherwise, a small carriage can be used to host the landing pads.

The drones...