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Aerodynamic Vehicle with Self Assembling Robots

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248129D
Publication Date: 2016-Oct-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system that uses self-assembling robots to construct the cargo area of a truck in order to optimize aerodynamics and improve fuel efficiency.

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Aerodynamic Vehicle with Self Assembling Robots

Due to rising fuel costs, automobile manufacturers place high priority on improving vehicle aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.

Vehicles such as trucks normally have a large cargo area behind in the rear, which causes drag, even without cargo. When looking at how drag affects mileage, the primary factor to consider is the coefficient of drag (Cd). The force acting against a car by the air it moves is a function of: Cd x Frontal Area x Density of Air x Speed Squared. The Cd can be significantly reduced by changing the long cylinder shape of a standard trailer/truck, into a streamlined half-body shape [1, 2], reducing the Cd from 0.82 to
0.09.

This disclosure discusses the use of self-assembling robots that are equipped with motors and sensors to quickly transform the shape vehicles' cargo area. This allows the optimization of the aerodynamics of the vehicle, while ensuring optimal available cargo space.

This disclosure proposes the use of self-assembling robots to construct the cargo area of a truck. This approach allows the truck driver to configure the cargo hold into a shape that is both sufficient in size to carry the planned load while optimizing the vehicle's aerodynamics. The robots are self-moving and can assemble into large, complex items.

Each robot is controlled by a central computer on the vehicle. This central unit configures the robots into the expected shape. This can either follow pre-determined, streamlined shapes (e.g., a 10' x 10' cube vs. a 10' by 20' long hauler) or be dynamic based upon cargo requirements (e.g., shape the cargo area to only cover the stored items).

As...