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1. (WO2019046263) THRUSTER BASED LOCOMOTION FOR PERCHED UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES
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WHAT IS CLAIMED IS :

1. A system for landing and locomoting on a surface of a structure comprising:

an unmanned aerial vehicle having a plurality of independently controllable thrusters; and

an undercarriage including a frame, a set of wheels coupled to the frame, and a plurality of bars pivotally coupled at respective first ends to the frame and coupled at respective second ends to the unmanned aerial vehicle,

wherein the unmanned aerial vehicle is operative to differentially activate the plurality of thrusters so as to tilt with respect to the frame of the undercarriage and to exert a net resultant force that causes the undercarriage to locomote on the surface of the structure.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the plurality of bars includes four bars configured in an X-shaped arrangement.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the unmanned aerial vehicle includes a processor configured with program code for controlling kinetic behavior of the unmanned aerial vehicle according to a flight mode, a locomotion mode, and a perch mode.

4. The system of claim 3, wherein the set of wheels includes four wheels and the undercarriage includes pressure sensors operative to indicate a force of contact between the set of wheels and the surface of the structure.

5. The system of claim 3, wherein the unmanned aerial vehicle includes an optical sensor and the processor is configured with program code for image processing and identification.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein in flight mode, the processor determines a location and orientation of the surface of the structure relative to the unmanned aerial vehicle and calculates a) a trajectory for landing the unmanned aerial vehicle onto a target location on the surface of the structure from an airborne position based on the determined location and orientation, and b) a sequence in which to activate and deactivate the thrusters in order to move in the calculated trajectory.

7. The system of claim 4, wherein in perch mode the processor determines an orientation of the undercarriage with respect to gravity and the surface of the structure and activates the thrusters so as to keep the wheels of the undercarriage in contact with the surface of the structure.

8. The system of claim 4, wherein in locomotion mode, the processor determines a location and an orientation of the undercarriage with respect to gravity, and the surface of the structure and calculates a trajectory for locomoting the unml armed aerial vehicle on the surface of the structure to a target location on the structure based on the determined location and orientation.

9. The system of claim 1 , wherein at least one of the undercarriage and the unmanned aerial vehicle includes equipment for inspecting the surface of the structure.

10. The system of claim 1, wherein the wheels of the undercarriage are one of omni-wheels and mecanum wheels

11. A method of landing and locomoting on a surface of a structure using an unmanned aerial vehicle having controllable thrusters, the method comprising:

coupling an undercarriage including a frame, a set of wheels coupled to the frame and a plurality of pivotable bars to the unmanned aerial vehicle; and

controlling the thrusters of the unmanned aerial vehicle so as to tilt the pivotable bars of the undercarriage with respect to the frame and exert a resultant force on the undercarriage that causes the undercarriage to locomote on the surface of the structure.

12. The method of claim 1 1, wherein the unmanned aerial vehicle includes a plurality of thrusters and the controlling of the thrusters includes differentially activating the plurality of thrusters to obtain a net resultant force.

13. The method of claim 1, wherein the plurality of pivotable bars of the undercarriage includes four bars configured in an X-shaped arrangement.

14. The method of claim 11, further comprising determining a kinetic mode for the unmanned vehicle consisting of one of a flight mode, a locomotion mode, and a perch mode.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising detecting a pressure on the set of wheels of the undercarriage indicative of a force of contact between the set of wheels and the surface of the structure.

16. The method of claim 14, further comprising optically detecting a surface of the structure and determining a location of the unmanned aerial vehicle with respect to the surface of the structure based on the optical detection.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising, in flight mode, determining a location and orientation of the surface of the structure relative to the unmanned aerial vehicle and calculating a) a trajectory for landing the unmanned aerial vehicle onto a target location on the surface of the structure from an airborne position based on the determined location and orientation, and b) a sequence in which to activate and deactivate the thrusters in order to move in the calculated trajectory.

18. The method of claim 14 further comprising, in perch mode, determining an orientation of the undercarriage with respect to gravity and the surface of the structure and activating the thrusters so as to keep the wheels of the undercarriage in contact with the surface of the structure.

19. The method of claim 14, further comprising, in locomotion mode, determining a location and an orientation of the undercarriage with respect to gravity and the surface of the structure and calculating a trajectory for locomoting the unmanned aerial vehicle on the surface of the structure to a target location on the structure based on the determined location and orientation,

20. The method of claim 11, further comprising inspecting the surface of the structure.

21. The method of claim 11, further comprising fixing the pivotable bars at a specific angle with respect to the undercarriage.