I always like watching drones do amazing feats, such as landing on a moving vehicle, that’s why I was impressed when Land Rover did it. In Land Rover’s use case, their drones are for search and rescue purposes, but what about delivery? Check out this drone capable of landing on a fast moving vehicle. How fast exactly? The drone can land on a vehicle moving over 30 miles per hour!
One of the great potential applications for automated drones is parcel delivery. But their limited range makes this challenging. So one idea is to carry drones on delivery trucks and use them to make the delivery over the last half mile or so and charge them when they get back. The drone would take off from the truck carrying a parcel and return after making the drop.
The ability to take off and land on the vehicle while it is moving would make this particularly attractive. Such a delivery truck need never stop during its round.
Ready to see this drone in action?
Autonomous Landing of a Multirotor Aerial Vehicle on a High Velocity Ground Vehicle–
While autonomous multirotor micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs) are uniquely well suited for certain types of missions benefiting from stationary flight capabilities, their more widespread usage still faces many hurdles, due in particular to their limited range and the difficulty of fully automating the deployment and retrieval. In this paper we address these issues by solving the problem of the automated landing of a quadcopter on a ground vehicle moving at relatively high speed. We present our system architecture, including the structure of our Kalman filter for the estimation of the relative position and velocity between the quadcopter and the landing pad, as well as our controller design for the full rendezvous and landing maneuvers. The system is experimentally validated by successfully landing in multiple trials a commercial quadcopter on the roof of a car moving at speeds of up to 50 km/h.
Alexandre Borowczyk, Duc-Tien Nguyen, André Phu-Van Nguyen, Dang Quang Nguyen, David Saussié, Jerome Le Ny
Submitted to IFAC WC 2017