Some content of this application is unavailable at the moment.
If this situation persist, please contact us atFeedback&Contact
1. (WO2017190026) UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE PICK-UP AND DELIVERY SYSTEMS
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

CLAIMS

1. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for delivering a parcel, the UAV comprising: a UAV chassis comprising:

an upper portion including a plurality of propulsion members configured to provide lift to the UAV chassis;

a lower portion positioned below the upper portion in a vertical direction, the lower portion defining an internal cavity; and a parcel carrier configured for being selectively coupled to and removed from the UAV chassis, the parcel carrier comprising:

an engagement housing configured for being at least partially inserted within the internal cavity of the lower portion of the UAV chassis and thereby secured to the UAV chassis; and

a parcel carrying mechanism coupled to and positioned below the engagement housing, wherein the parcel carrying mechanism is configured for engaging and holding the parcel.

2. The UAV of Claim 1, wherein the parcel carrying mechanism comprises a pair of parcel carrying arms.

3. The UAV of Claim 2, wherein the parcel carrying arms are configured to move between an engaged position, in which the parcel carrying arms are configured to engage the parcel, and a disengaged position, in which the parcel carrying arms are configured to be spaced apart from the parcel.

4. The UAV of Claim 3, wherein the parcel carrier further comprises:

a motor configured for actuating the parcel carrying arms; and

a parcel carrier controller communicatively coupled to the motor, wherein the parcel carrier controller is configured to command the motor to move the parcel carrying arms between the engaged position and the disengaged position.

5. The UAV of Claim 4, wherein the parcel carrier further comprises a ground probe communicatively coupled to the parcel carrier controller and configured to detect when a bottom surface of the parcel contacts a landing surface.

6. The UAV of Claim 2, wherein each of the parcel carrying arms comprise an upper portion extending outward from the engagement housing, and a lower portion extending downward from the upper portion.

7. The UAV of Claim 6, wherein each of the parcel carrying arms further comprise a plurality of pins extending inward from the lower portion of the parcel carrying arms toward the parcel.

8. The UAV of Claim 6, wherein each of the parcel carrying arms comprise a support flange extending inward from the lower portion of the parcel carrying arms, wherein the support flange is configured to extend under a bottom surface of the parcel.

9. The UAV of Claim 1, wherein the lower portion of the UAV chassis includes a plurality of retaining members configured to engage the engagement housing of the parcel carrier and secure the parcel carrier within the internal cavity of the UAV chassis.

10. The UAV of Claim 9, wherein the plurality of retaining members are positioned around a perimeter of an opening to the UAV chassis' internal cavity, and

wherein the plurality of retaining members are repositionable between an extended position, in which the retaining members extend inward into the internal cavity and in which the retaining members are configured to secure the engagement housing of the parcel carrier within the internal cavity, and a retracted position, in which the retaining members are withdrawn from the internal cavity and in which the retaining members are configured to allow the engagement housing to be removable from the internal cavity.

11. The UAV of Claim 1, further comprising a ground landing sensor coupled to the UAV chassis and positioned outside of a maximum parcel envelope.

12. The UAV of Claim 1 , further comprising landing gear coupled to a downward-facing surface of the upper portion of the UAV chassis.

13. The UAV of Claim 1, further comprising a camera positioned on the lower portion of the UAV chassis.

14. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for delivering a parcel, the UAV comprising: a UAV chassis comprising:

an upper portion including a plurality of propulsion members configured to provide lift to the UAV chassis;

a lower portion positioned below the upper portion in a vertical direction; a parcel carrier selectively coupled to and removable from the UAV chassis, the parcel carrier comprising:

an engagement housing configured for being secured to the lower portion of the UAV chassis; and

a parcel carrying mechanism coupled to the engagement housing and positioned below the engagement housing, wherein the parcel carrying mechanism is configured to engage a parcel.

15. The UAV of Claim 14, wherein the parcel carrying mechanism comprises a pair of parcel carrying arms.

16. The UAV of Claim 15, wherein the parcel carrier comprises:

a motor coupled to the parcel carrying arms; and

a parcel carrier controller communicatively coupled to the motor, wherein the parcel carrier controller is configured to command the motor to move the parcel carrying arms between an engaged position, in which the parcel carrying arms are configured to engage the parcel, and a disengaged position, in which the parcel carrying arms are configured to be spaced apart from the parcel.

17. The UAV of Claim 15, wherein each of the parcel carrying arms comprise an upper portion extending outward from the engagement housing in a lateral direction that is transverse to the vertical direction, and a lower portion extending downward from the upper portion.

18. The UAV of Claim 17, wherein each of the parcel carrying arms further comprise a plurality of pins extending inward from the lower portion of the parcel carrying arms toward the parcel.

19. The UAV of Claim 17, wherein each of the parcel carrying arms further comprise a support flange extending inward from the lower portion of the parcel carrying arms, wherein the support flange is configured to extend under a bottom surface of the parcel.

20. The UAV of Claim 14, wherein the engagement housing comprises a shape that is complementary to the lower portion of the UAV chassis.

21. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for delivering a parcel, the UAV comprising: a UAV chassis comprising:

a plurality of propulsion members configured to provide lift to the UAV chassis;

a UAV electrical interface electrically coupled to the plurality of propulsion members;

a parcel carrier selectively coupled to and removable from the UAV chassis, the parcel carrier comprising:

an engagement housing configured for being secured to the UAV chassis, wherein the engagement housing includes a carrier electrical interface is configured for being electrically coupled to the UAV electrical interface when the parcel carrier is coupled to the UAV chassis;

a parcel carrying mechanism coupled to the engagement housing, wherein the parcel carrying mechanism is configured to engage a parcel; and

a power source electrically coupled to the carrier electrical interface and configured for powering the plurality of propulsion members when the parcel carrier is coupled to the UAV chassis.

22. The UAV of Claim 21, wherein the power source comprises a battery.

23. The UAV of Claim 21, further comprising a plurality of motorized joints electrically coupled to the power source and coupled to the UAV chassis, wherein each of the plurality of propulsion members are pivotally coupled to the UAV chassis at ones of the plurality of motorized joints.

24. The UAV of Claim 21 , wherein the UAV chassis further comprises a lower portion positioned below the upper portion in a vertical direction, the lower portion defining an internal cavity; and

wherein the engagement housing is configured for being at least partially inserted within the internal cavity of the lower portion of the UAV chassis.

25. The UAV of Claim 24, wherein the UAV chassis further comprises a plurality of retaining members positioned on the lower portion of the UAV chassis and extending inward into the internal cavity, wherein the retaining members selectively couple the engagement housing of the parcel carrier to the UAV chassis.

26. The UAV of Claim 21, wherein the parcel carrier further comprises a receiving portion positioned above the engagement housing, the receiving portion defining a cavity; and

wherein the UAV chassis further comprises an upper portion configured for being at least partially inserted within the cavity of the receiving portion of the parcel carrier.

27. The UAV of Claim 21, wherein the parcel coupled to the parcel carrier comprises a refrigeration unit, and the power source is electrically coupled to the refrigeration unit.

28. The UAV of Claim 21, wherein the parcel carrying mechanism comprises a pair of parcel carrying arms.

29. The UAV of Claim 28, wherein the parcel carrier further comprises:

a motor coupled to the parcel carrying arms; and

a parcel carrier controller communicatively coupled to the motor, wherein the parcel carrier controller is configured to command the motor to move the parcel carrying arms between an engaged position, in which the parcel carrying arms are configured to engage the parcel, and a disengaged position, in which the parcel carrying arms are configured to be spaced apart from the parcel.

30. The UAV of Claim 29, wherein the parcel carrier further comprises a ground probe communicatively coupled to the parcel carrier controller and configured to detect when a bottom surface of the parcel contacts a landing surface.

31. The UAV of Claim 30, wherein the parcel carrying mechanism comprises a pair of parcel carrying arms, and the ground probe extends downward from the parcel carrying arms.

32. The UAV of Claim 21, further comprising a ground landing sensor coupled to the UAV chassis and positioned outside of a maximum parcel envelope.

33. An enhanced parcel delivery system comprising:

an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) comprising:

a UAV chassis comprising:

an upper portion;

a plurality of propulsion members configured to provide lift to the

UAV chassis;

a lower portion positioned below the upper portion in a vertical direction, the lower portion defining an internal cavity;

a first parcel carrier selectively coupled to and removable from the UAV chassis, the first parcel carrier comprising:

a first engagement housing configured to be at least partially inserted within the internal cavity of the lower portion of the UAV chassis;

a first power source positioned within the first engagement housing and configured to be electrically coupled to the plurality of propulsion members; and

a first parcel carrying mechanism coupled to and positioned below the first engagement housing, wherein the first parcel carrying mechanism is configured to engage a first parcel; and

a second parcel carrier selectively coupled to and removable from the UAV chassis, the second parcel carrier comprising:

a second engagement housing configured to be at least partially inserted within the internal cavity of the lower portion of the UAV chassis; a second power source positioned within the second engagement housing and configured to be electrically coupled to the plurality of propulsion members; and

a second parcel carrying mechanism coupled to and positioned below the second engagement housing, wherein the second parcel carrying mechanism is configured to engage a second parcel.

34. The system of Claim 33, wherein the first parcel carrying mechanism comprises a pair of parcel carrying arms.

35. The system of Claim 34, wherein the first parcel carrier further comprises:

a motor coupled to the parcel carrying arms; and

a parcel carrier controller communicatively coupled to the motor, wherein the parcel carrier controller is configured to command the motor to move the parcel carrying arms between an engaged position, in which the parcel carrying arms are configured to engage the first parcel, and a disengaged position, in which the parcel carrying arms are configured to be spaced apart from the first parcel.

36. The system of Claim 35, wherein the first parcel carrier further comprises a ground probe communicatively coupled to the parcel carrier controller and configured to detect when a bottom surface of the first parcel contacts a landing surface.

37. The system of Claim 33, wherein the UAV chassis further comprises a plurality of retaining members positioned on the lower portion of the UAV chassis and extending inward into the internal cavity, wherein the retaining members are configured to selectively couple the first engagement housing of the first parcel carrier to the UAV chassis and are configured to selectively couple the second engagement housing of the second parcel carrier to the UAV chassis.

38. The system of Claim 37, wherein the plurality of retaining members are repositionable between an extended position, in which the retaining members extend inward into the internal cavity and in which the retaining members are configured to secure the first engagement housing of the first parcel carrier within the internal cavity, and a retracted position, in which the retaining members are withdrawn from the internal cavity and in which the retaining members are configured to allow the first engagement housing to be removable from the internal cavity.

39. The system of Claim 33, further comprising a ground landing sensor coupled to the UAV chassis and positioned outside of a maximum parcel envelope.

40. The system of Claim 33, further comprising a plurality of motorized joints coupled to the upper portion of the UAV chassis, wherein each of the plurality of propulsion members are pivotally coupled to the upper portion of the UAV chassis at ones of the plurality of motorized joints.

41. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for delivering a parcel, the UAV comprising: a UAV chassis comprising:

an upper portion having an upper portion width evaluated in a lateral direction, wherein the upper portion comprises a tapered shape such that the upper portion width decreases moving downward along the upper portion in the vertical direction;

a plurality of propulsion members configured to provide lift to the UAV chassis;

a lower portion positioned below the upper portion in a vertical direction, the lower portion having a lower portion width evaluated in the lateral direction;

a reduced width portion positioned between the upper portion and the lower portion, the reduced width portion having a width evaluated in the lateral direction, wherein the width of the reduced width portion is less than the upper portion width and the lower portion width; and

a parcel carrying mechanism coupled to the lower portion, wherein the parcel carrying mechanism is configured to engage a parcel.

42. The UAV of Claim 41, wherein the lower portion comprises a tapered shape such that the lower portion width increases moving downward along the lower portion in the vertical direction.

43. The UAV of Claim 41 , further comprising landing gear coupled to the upper portion, wherein the landing gear is configured to engage opposing rails of a UAV support mechanism.

44. The UAV of Claim 43, wherein the landing gear comprises a rollers oriented to face downward from the upper portion and configured to engage the pair of opposing rails of the UAV support mechanism.

45. The UAV of Claim 43, wherein the landing gear is positioned opposing sides of the reduced width portion.

46. The UAV of Claim 41, wherein the parcel carrying mechanism comprises a pair of parcel carrying arms.

47. The UAV of Claim 46, wherein each of the parcel carrying arms further comprise a plurality of pins extending inward the parcel carrying arms toward the parcel.

48. The UAV of Claim 46, further comprising a ground probe extending downward from the parcel carrying arms, wherein the ground probe is configured to detect a distance between a surface and a bottom surface of the parcel.

49. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for delivering a parcel, the UAV comprising: a UAV chassis, the UAV chassis comprising:

an upper portion having an upper portion width evaluated in a lateral direction;

a plurality of propulsion members configured to provide lift to the UAV chassis;

a reduced width portion positioned below the upper portion, the reduced width portion having a width evaluated in the lateral direction, wherein the width of the reduced width portion is less than the upper portion width;

a parcel carrier selectively coupled to the UAV chassis, the parcel carrier comprising:

an engagement housing selectively coupled to the reduced width portion of the UAV chassis; and

a parcel carrying mechanism coupled to the engagement housing, wherein the parcel carrying mechanism is configured to engage a parcel.

50. The UAV of Claim 49, further comprising landing gear coupled to the upper portion of the UAV chassis, wherein the landing gear is configured to engage opposing rails of a UAV support mechanism.

51. The UAV of Claim 50, wherein the landing gear comprises a rollers oriented to face downward from the upper portion and configured to engage the pair of opposing rails of the UAV support mechanism.

52. The UAV of Claim 50, wherein the landing gear is positioned opposing sides of the reduced width portion.

53. The UAV of Claim 49, wherein the upper portion of the UAV chassis comprises a tapered shape such that the upper portion width decreases moving downward along the upper portion in the vertical direction.

54. The UAV of Claim 49, wherein the engagement housing comprises a tapered shape such that a width of the engagement housing increases moving downward along engagement housing in the vertical direction.

55. The UAV of Claim 49, wherein the parcel carrying mechanism comprises a pair of parcel carrying arms.

56. The UAV of Claim 55, wherein the parcel carrier further comprises:

a motor coupled to the parcel carrying arms; and

a parcel carrier controller communicatively coupled to the motor, wherein the parcel carrier controller is configured to command the motor to move the parcel carrying arms between an engaged position, in which the parcel carrying arms are configured to engage the parcel, and a disengaged position, in which the parcel carrying arms are configured to be spaced apart from the parcel.

57. The UAV of Claim 55 , further comprising a ground probe extending downward from the parcel carrying arms, wherein the ground probe is configured to detect when a bottom surface of the parcel contacts a landing surface.

58. The UAV of Claim 55, wherein each of the parcel carrying arms further comprise a plurality of pins extending inward the parcel carrying arms toward the parcel.