Thesis: Development of the Baton: A Novel Precision Delivery Drone
ABSTRACT: Delivery of goods at the time of war and rescue operations have always been a critical issue. Such operation is generally carried out using ground vehicles and parachutes, making itdiﬃcult and dangerous. This research work aims to address this critical issue by developing a novel unmanned aerial vehicle, called Baton, to deliver multiple payloads, including food, medicines, and electronics during such hazardous conditions. Use of one coaxial rotor, two actuators, and a GPS-guided system, to attain stability and deliver goods, makes it compact, light and a low-cost aerial vehicle. The goal of this thesis is to show the feasibility of control system used to control this drone. This thesis will also describe the structure and control system of Baton in detail. The primary goal of this thesis is to show why is this vehicle novel and how the control system was implemented to precisely sync all onboard sensors and achieve ﬂight. Multiple models of Baton were developed using the same control mechanism. They will be compared to show which model is more suitable to perform delivery operations. The long-term goal is to enhance control system and its implementation based on ﬂight-test results to achieve precise delivery of payloads.
Undergraduates: Jessie Bryant
There has been a significant amount of increase in the research and development of UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) over past few years. UAS are of different types, for example – fixed wing aircraft, drones, and RC helicopters. These have different applications in the areas of precision agriculture, photography. But there are no mechanisms deployed to allow precise delivery of small packages. Instead, medical supplies, spare parts, food, radio, etc. are delivered via ground vehicles, which can be difficult or impossible in remote or hostile areas.
Applewhite Aero is a Seattle-based company, which has a design for this kind of a compact vehicle. This project aims to bring this design into a prototype phase, perform several tests and develop it to meet the critical needs that have not been met so far.
The current design uses a counter-rotating motor and a GPS receiver to enable controlled descent of vital materials from altitude to desired locations. This design also eliminates the need to use cycle stick or collective-pitch, thus making it light, compact and low-cost ariel delivery vehicle. Below are the two designs we are currently working on: