Category: Hardware patents

Ditch the Remote: LG’s Drone is Controlled with Glasses

Your DJI is up in the air, sending your iPad amazing shots, but what exactly are YOU doing? You’re likely staring down at your iPad, not taking in the whole picture. You probably have a friend watching your drone to make sure you don’t hit anything. What if you could just capture the photo by looking at it and framing it with your hands? The folks at LG believe this is the future: deep-6 the […]

Mars Rover Technology Adapted to Drones

It worked for the Mars Pathfinder Rover, and it saves uncounted lives in cars, so why not adapt an airbag for the drone? This is the solution proposed by the present Japanese patent application. Sure, you can fit a deployable parachute to your expensive quadcopter, but it’s not the perfect solution. As the application discloses, “the product of [http://www.dji.com/ja/product/dropsafe)] opens the parachute at 6 meters or more from the ground and therefore cannot produce an […]

Amazon Quells Drone Noise with Anti-Noise

Phase cancellation is an interesting acoustic phenomenon. If two identical signals are 180 degrees out of phase, they will completely cancel each other out. With the eventual proliferation of delivery drones, noise will be an issue. As Amazon puts it, “the net effect of the noises generated by the unmanned aerial vehicle may be annoying at best, or deafening at worst.”   Behold: the Silent Drone. Amazon has presented a patent application “directed to actively […]

Flying Generator Drone Breaks Two-Hour Barrier

A world of opportunity is awaiting the drone that can fly for over 45 minutes. Here is a version that can fly 100 miles on one gallon of fuel, carrying a gallon of payload. It can hopscotch anywhere in its range and become a small electric generator. This is good news. Flight time is one of the most annoying and brutal barriers, governed by energy-density versus weight, recharge speeds, and availability of peak power for […]

Drone Slices, Dices, and Makes Julienne Fries

Simultaneously competing in the category of Most Versatile and Narrowest Patent, this latest patent application throws the proverbial Kitchen Sink into the drone world. Basing its priority on a 2002 Provisional patent application, having gone through not one, not two, but seventeen Continuation patent applications, this application is a testament to how not to use the patent system. At its core, it’s a good invention: a drone with a built-in parachute, tiltable propellers, waterproof body, […]

Pusher-Prop Quad Will Save the Ceilings

In the early days of aviation, planes used pusher propellers. A pusher prop is typically behind the wing, and the concept probably came from boating, with the ship’s screws located on the stern to push the vessel through water. It took a few years for aerospace engineers to realize that puller props (mounted on the nose of the airplane) were superior because they spun through clean, not dirty air. The air behind the wing is […]

DJI’s Answer to EM Interference: No Touching

Straight from the depths of ‘duh’, comes this peculiar patent application for separation of electromagnetic interference-causing flight controllers and sensitive sensors that would be useless if in proximity of EM interference. DJI proposes to distance the guts of the controller from the sensor between 3 cm and up to 50 cm away, even if that means putting the sensor on a mast (or an “extension member”). According to the application, “operation of navigational, surveillance or […]

DJI’s Inspiring Patent Application

We’ve all oohed and awed over DJI’s Inspire’s 360-degree camera pan without the gear getting in the way of the shot, but did you know that the design can also “increase the functional space of a coupled payload”? From the reading of the patent application, the camera is only a part of what this thing can do. As the patent says, “existing unmanned aerial vehicle designs can be less than ideal for providing unobstructed viewing […]

Flying Claw Opens Doors, May Replace Doormen

From the Nightmare files, a flying claw has been patented. A drone is only as good as the clear space it’s flying through. When flying indoors, if the drone encounters an obstacle, game over, right? Not so, says Robert Marcus of Lafayette, CA. In his issued patent for a “Rotocraft”, Mr. Marcus has patented a flying machine with six degrees of freedom, for the purpose of opening doors, or carrying other tools or weapons. Here […]

Improved VTOL Coaxial Blades

The Osprey is a problematic animal. Not the bird, the aircraft. It took many years and 36 lives (to date) to design a tilt-propeller ship that can take off like a helicopter and fly like an airplane. What if there is a better design? King Abdullah of Jordan thinks so. A recently-granted US Patent discloses a VTOL vehicle that can take off like a helicopter and presumably fly like a plane. The design, using coaxial counter-rotating […]

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