Composite Aircraft Patents (Class 244/2)
  • Patent number: 10843784
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a hydrogen recycling flight system and flight method, the hydrogen recycling flight system including: a flight fuselage which has at least one pair of wings at each of both sides of a body; a hydrogen gas balloon which is air-tightly connected to the flight fuselage; a hydrogen fuel cell which is connected with the hydrogen gas balloon and is installed outside or inside the flight fuselage; and a secondary battery which is charged with electricity generated from the hydrogen fuel cell, electricity generated from a solar cell provided at an outer peripheral portion of the flight fuselage, or electricity of an external power network, in which by using a switch, the hydrogen fuel cell is switched to a water electrolysis device or the water electrolysis device is switched to the hydrogen fuel cell, the hydrogen recycling flight system includes: a water tank which stores water generated from the hydrogen fuel cell; the water electrolysis device which electrolyzes the stored water;
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2020
    Assignee: UNIVERSITY OF SEOUL INDUSTRY COOPERATION FOUNDATION
    Inventors: Byung Deok Yu, Hyunsoo Min, Junjin Jeon
  • Patent number: 10829192
    Abstract: Described herein are features for a high altitude lighter-than-air (LTA) system and associated methods. The LTA may include one or more super-pressure balloons (SPB). One or more of the SPB's may include one or more interior volumes. One or more of the interior volumes may be configured to receive an LTA gas therein to supplement the free lift of the LTA system. There may be an adjustable valve or vent to release the LTA gas. One or more of the interior volumes may be configured to receive ambient air to provide a variable downward force. The SPB may use a compressor to pump in ambient air. The compressor or another valve may release ambient air to decrease the downward force. A zero-pressure balloon (ZPB) may be attached with the one or more SPB's. The ZPB may supplement lift for the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2020
    Assignee: World View Enterprises Inc.
    Inventors: Rodger Farley, Taber MacCallum, G. Ryan Lee, Sebastian Padilla, John Straus
  • Patent number: 10814973
    Abstract: An aircraft includes a fuselage coupled to a wing having a dihedral root section with first and second outboard sections pivotably coupled to respective outboard ends thereof. A thrust array is coupled to the wing. A power system is operably associated with the thrust array to provide power to each of a plurality of propulsion assemblies. A flight control system is operably associated with the thrust array and the wing. The flight control system is operable to control the thrust output from the propulsion assemblies and the configuration of the wing. In a thrust-borne vertical lift mode, the wing has an M-wing configuration with the center of gravity of the aircraft located between the outboard sections of the wing. In a wing-borne forward flight mode, the wing has a gull wing configuration with the center of gravity of the aircraft located below the outboard sections of the wing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2020
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Sean Robert Gaffney, Robert Rex Graham, Jr., Colton Edward Campbell, Kevin Krisnil Prasadk, Isaiah Neves Martinez, Jared Michael Rosenkrance, Lukas N. Everhart, William Paul Crisler
  • Patent number: 10793271
    Abstract: The present invention relates;—to a drone comprising a fuselage (1) provided with a carrying means (11, 12) capable of allowing a belly-to-ground flight position and an inverted flight position, at least one propulsion means (2), autonomous navigation instruments and an axial compartment (10) forming a recess incorporated into an upper part of the fuselage in order to receive a parachutist (h) in the lying position, avionics provided with programmable control means coupled to the autonomous navigation instruments and means for releasing said parachutist controlled by said avionics, characterised in that said release means are designed and intended to ensure the release of said parachutist in the inverted flight position, and,—to a piece of airborne intervention equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: DAE
    Inventor: Thierry Demonfort
  • Patent number: 10773799
    Abstract: A system includes a higher unmanned multicopter, a lower unmanned multicopter, and a flexible connector. The flexible connector connects the higher unmanned multicopter and the lower unmanned multicopter. The VTM system is configured to carry a payload, including by having the higher unmanned multicopter fly above the lower unmanned multicopter with the flexible connector taut such that both the higher unmanned multicopter and the lower unmanned multicopter contribute to carrying the payload.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: Kitty Hawk Corporation
    Inventors: Sebastian Thrun, Damon Vander Lind
  • Patent number: 10759280
    Abstract: A hybrid power drive system for an aircraft that comprises a rotor and a first power drive sub-system. The first power drive sub-system includes at least one engine in connection with the rotor and provides a first power to the rotor. The hybrid power drive system also includes a second power drive sub-system connected in parallel to the first power drive sub-system, which supplements with a second power the first power delivered to the rotor during operation of the aircraft. In addition, an electric power source provides a third power to the second power drive sub-system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
    Inventor: Peter James Waltner
  • Patent number: 10745125
    Abstract: Provided is a hovering vehicle capable of safely moving while hovering from the ground. A hovering vehicle includes: at least six impellers including six or more impellers provided below an operator cab, for blasting, downward in a z direction, air taken in from the air intake space between the impellers and the operator cab; at least six motors including six or more motors for driving the six or more impellers; and an electricity storage unit for supplying power to the six or more motors. The hovering vehicle is allowed to hover from the ground by the air blasted from three or more of the six or more impellers, and the six or more impellers are arranged on the circumference of a circle with the center passing through an axis parallel to the z direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: TATSUMI RYOKI CO., LTD
    Inventor: Toyoshi Kondo
  • Patent number: 10737779
    Abstract: A vehicle for aerial-aquatic locomotion is provided. The vehicle may include a propeller, an electric motor operably coupled to the propeller and configured to rotate the propeller, a maneuvering assembly configured to change an attitude and altitude of the vehicle, and a controller operably coupled to the electric motor and the maneuvering assembly. The controller may be configured to receive a command for the vehicle to exit a first medium and enter a second medium, compute or retrieve a hybrid trajectory, and control the electric motor and the maneuvering assembly to maneuver the vehicle in accordance with the hybrid trajectory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: The Johns Hopkins University
    Inventor: Joseph L. Moore
  • Patent number: 10723456
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an unmanned aerial vehicle system having a multi-rotor type rotary wing. The unmanned aerial vehicle system having a multi-rotor type rotary wing includes a first unmanned aerial vehicle, at least one second unmanned aerial vehicle, and a bridge that connects the first unmanned aerial vehicle and the at least one second unmanned aerial vehicle to be separable from each other, wherein the at least one second unmanned aerial vehicle is moveable by the first unmanned aerial vehicle in a state where the at least one second unmanned aerial vehicle is coupled to the first unmanned aerial vehicle by the bridge without being driven, and the at least one second unmanned aerial vehicle is separable from the first unmanned aerial vehicle which is in flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2020
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Science and Technology
    Inventors: Taikjin Lee, Suk Woo Nam, Chang Won Yoon, Hyun Seo Park, Young Min Jhon, Seok Lee, Min-Jun Choi
  • Patent number: 10723189
    Abstract: A personal transportation device comprises a frame, a wheel pivotably connected to a frame and switchable between a driving configuration and a flying configuration, a motor to rotate the wheel; and an automatic cruise module. The automatic cruise module is configured to control the wheel and guide the personal transportation device to fly from a first location to a second location according to a designated route as an unmanned aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2020
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies LLC
    Inventors: Daniel Tang, Chelsia Ka Po Lau, James Yu-Hsin Kuo, Eui Shik Bang, Jack Li
  • Patent number: 10703473
    Abstract: Provided is a hovering vehicle capable of safely moving while hovering from the ground. A hovering vehicle includes: at least six impellers including six or more impellers provided below an operator cab, for blasting, downward in a z direction, air taken in from the air intake space between the impellers and the operator cab; at least six motors including six or more motors for driving the six or more impellers; and an electricity storage unit for supplying power to the six or more motors. The hovering vehicle is allowed to hover from the ground by the air blasted from three or more of the six or more impellers, and the six or more impellers are arranged on the circumference of a circle with the center passing through an axis parallel to the z direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: TATSUMI RYOKI CO., LTD
    Inventor: Toyoshi Kondo
  • Patent number: 10696365
    Abstract: Embodiments of the disclosure include an unmanned submersible vehicle for use in surveying subsurface wells. The unmanned submersible vehicle may be inserted into a well and may acquire measurements while traversing the well and at various measurement locations in the well. The unmanned submersible vehicle may include propulsion units having propellers and an arm pivotably attached to a body of the vehicle. The propellers of the propulsion units may be used to measure flow velocity of a fluid when the unmanned submersible vehicle is in a well. The unmanned submersible vehicle may include a measurement unit for measuring temperature, pressure, and gradient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Assignee: Saudi Arabian Oil Company
    Inventors: Mohammed Dabbous, David Lewis
  • Patent number: 10676176
    Abstract: An aerial vehicle may include adjustable configurations to selectively provide protection for propellers of the aerial vehicle. Portions of the wing and/or the tail plane of the aerial vehicle may be reconfigured to an extended configuration around a periphery of one or more propellers during generally vertical flight or hovering operations, when delivery a payload, and/or upon detecting objects in proximity. Likewise, the portions of the wing and/or the tail plane may be reconfigured to a retracted configuration that eliminates or minimizes adverse aerodynamic effects during generally horizontal flight operations, when operating at high altitude, and/or upon detecting no objects in proximity. During the reconfiguration, portions of the leading edge of the wing may be extended or retracted, and/or portions of the tail plane may be extended, retracted, and/or rotated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Piedmonte, David Moro Ludena, Cyriel Notteboom, Christopher Gornall, James Thomas
  • Patent number: 10671094
    Abstract: An aerial vehicle and system for automatically detecting an object (e.g., human, pet, or other animal) approaching the aerial vehicle is described. When an approaching object is detected by an object detection component, a safety profile may be executed to reduce or avoid any potential harm to the object and/or the aerial vehicle. For example, if the object is detected entering a safety perimeter of the aerial vehicle, the rotation of a propeller closest to the object may be stopped to avoid harming the object and rotations of remaining propellers may be modified to maintain control and flight of the aerial vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Gur Kimchi, Louis LeRoi LeGrand, III, Joshua White Traube
  • Patent number: 10668959
    Abstract: Various embodiments of an apparatus for changing the in-air pitch and/or roll of a land craft are described herein. The apparatus may include a steering input mechanism, a support structure, and an articulator. The apparatus may include one or more of a pitch-forward input mechanism, a pitch-back input mechanism, a roll-right input mechanism, and a roll-left input mechanism. The vehicle may include a set of wheels on which the vehicle travels over ground. The steering input mechanism may receive steering inputs from a driver of the vehicle. The steering input mechanism may receive pitch and roll control inputs from the driver. The support structure may connect the steering input mechanism to the vehicle, at least one of the wheels, or the vehicle and the at least one of the wheels. The articulator may rotatably connect the steering input mechanism to the support structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: Hall Labs LLC
    Inventors: David R. Hall, Stephen R. Hall, Jason Simpson, Joe Fox, Jedediah Knight
  • Patent number: 10669042
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that includes a light and a cooling system is described. The light fitted to the UAV may be bright since heat it generates will be cooled by thermal conduction, convection and/or heat absorption. The light may be cooled by the airflow generated by the propellers. The cooling system of the lighted UAV may include radiator that may conduct heat to the environment and/or include an internal liquid cooling system. The cooling system may include dedicated fans to cool the lights.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: WET
    Inventors: Dezso Molnar, John Canavan
  • Patent number: 10664791
    Abstract: A drone-based monitored storage system includes a shipment storage with an interior storage area and a drone storage area, an internal docking station, and an internal monitor drone disposed within the shipment storage that aerially monitors the items being shipped within the interior storage area. The monitor drone includes an airframe, battery, onboard controller, lifting engines and lifting rotors responsive to flight control input, communication interface, sensor array that gathers sensory information as the drone moves within the interior shipment storage area of the shipment storage, and a drone capture interface that can selectively mate to the internal docking station to hold the monitor drone in a secure position. The monitor drone can gather the sensory information (such as environment information, image information, multidimensional mapping information, and scanned symbol information) and autonomously detect conditions of items being shipped based upon the sensory information from the sensor array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: FEDERAL EXPRESS CORPORATION
    Inventors: Reuben F. Burch, V, David A. Doyle, Brian D. Popp
  • Patent number: 10647426
    Abstract: A high-flying solar unmanned aircraft system capable of extending endurance time is disclosed. The system includes a main aircraft, a separable auxiliary power source and a connection device. The main aircraft includes a first body, a second body, a first wing portion, a second wing portion, a third wing portion, a first propeller and a second propeller. The second wing portion locates between the first body and the second body, and the second wing portion connects the first body and the second body. The connection device connects the main aircraft and the auxiliary power source, and includes a separation device. When the system climbs, the separable auxiliary power source provides additional energy to assist the main aircraft to climb. When reaching a preset altitude, the separation device, by burning out a line of connection bent, is turned on such that the auxiliary power source is separated from the main aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2020
    Assignee: GLOBALINK INTELLIGENCE LIMITED
    Inventor: Chiu-Shia Fen
  • Patent number: 10589859
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for aerial recovery of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) are provided. The apparatus includes a rigid base having a first section and a second section, wherein the first section is securely mounted to a floor of an aircraft. The apparatus further includes a servicing platform moveably mounted to the base and configured to move along a direction parallel to a longitudinal axis of the aircraft such that in an extended position, the servicing platform at least partially protrudes from a rear cargo door of the aircraft, wherein the servicing platform comprises a capturing mechanism configured to capture the UAV in the extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignees: ST ENGINEERING AEROSPACE LTD., SINGAPORE TECHNOLOGIES AEROSPACE LTD
    Inventors: Chi Hui Frederic Foo, Han Lin Hsi
  • Patent number: 10569868
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides various embodiments of a multicopter-assisted launch and retrieval system generally including: (1) a multi-rotor modular multicopter attachable to (and detachable from) a fixed-wing aircraft to facilitate launch of the fixed-wing aircraft into wing-borne flight; (2) a storage and launch system usable to store the modular multicopter and to facilitate launch of the fixed-wing aircraft into wing-borne flight; and (3) an anchor system usable (along with the multicopter and a flexible capture member) to retrieve the fixed-wing aircraft from wing-borne flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: Hood Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Andreas H. von Flotow, Corydon C. Roeseler, Caleb Andrew Woodruff, Daniel Pepin Reiss
  • Patent number: 10562623
    Abstract: A remotely controlled VTOL aircraft includes an autopilot subsystem outputting helicopter control signals, and an autopilot subsystem outputting fixed wing control signals. A transition control subsystem is configured to receive said helicopter control signals, said fixed wing control signals, and a transition control signal. Control signals to be applied to the VTOL aircraft controls are calculated as a function of the transition percentage and weighting factors applied to the helicopter control signals and said fixed wing control signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: BirdsEyeView Aerobotics, LLC
    Inventors: Adam Riley Sloan, Nathaniel Miller
  • Patent number: 10558219
    Abstract: An aerial vehicle control system includes an aerial vehicle and a computing device. The aerial vehicle includes an altitude controller and a lateral propulsion controller The computing device includes a processor and a memory. The memory stores instructions that, when executed by the processor, cause the computing device to obtain location data corresponding to a location of the aerial vehicle; obtain wind data; determine an altitude command, a latitude command, and a longitude command based on at least one of the location data or the wind data; cause the altitude controller to implement at least one of the altitude command, the latitude command, or the longitude command; and cause the lateral propulsion controller to implement at least one of the altitude command, the latitude command, or the longitude command.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2020
    Assignee: Loon LLC
    Inventors: Sergey Vichik, Cyrus Behroozi, C. O. Lee Boyce, Jr.
  • Patent number: 10501184
    Abstract: An aft pivot assembly can include a mount device securable to an aft portion of a payload of an aircraft for facilitating release of the payload. The aft pivot assembly can include a shaft operable with the mount device and a release component, the shaft being rotatable about multiple shaft axes relative to the mount device so as to either minimize or eliminate carriage loads about the aft portion, while reacting jettison loads during a jettison event or phase. The rotation of the shaft about its shaft axes can further be limited via a limit device. As the payload transitions from a carriage phase to a jettison phase, the shaft moves in multiple degrees of freedom and in multiple axes relative to the mount device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Joseph P. Nipper, Zachary Scott Zutavern, Arthur J. Mathews
  • Patent number: 10474983
    Abstract: A control circuit dispatches towards a delivery zone a terrestrial vehicle that carries at least one airborne drone and at least one item to be delivered to a customer. When the terrestrial vehicle is in the delivery zone, the drone is dispatched to carry the item to the customer. By one approach the drone exits the terrestrial vehicle without bearing the item. The item can be automatically moved from within the terrestrial vehicle to a position such that the item is at least partially exposed external to the terrestrial vehicle. The airborne drone, subsequent to exiting the terrestrial vehicle, can engage the item in order to then deliver that item to the customer. By one approach the terrestrial vehicle includes one or more platforms that support one or more airborne drones and that can be moved from within the terrestrial vehicle to a deployed position external to the terrestrial vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, John P. Thompson, Michael D. Atchley, Chandrashekar Natarajan
  • Patent number: 10460281
    Abstract: Systems and methods include UAVs that serve to assist carrier personnel by reducing the physical demands of the transportation and delivery process. A UAV generally includes a UAV chassis including an upper portion, a plurality of propulsion members configured to provide lift to the UAV chassis, and a parcel carrier configured for being selectively coupled to and removed from the UAV chassis. UAV support mechanisms are utilized to load and unload parcel carriers to the UAV chassis, and the UAV lands on and takes off from the UAV support mechanism to deliver parcels to a serviceable point. The UAV includes computing entities that interface with different systems and computing entities to send and receive various types of information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: United Parcel Service of America, Inc.
    Inventor: Julio Gil
  • Patent number: 10453022
    Abstract: Systems and methods include UAVs that serve to assist carrier personnel by reducing the physical demands of the transportation and delivery process. A UAV generally includes a UAV chassis including an upper portion, a plurality of propulsion members configured to provide lift to the UAV chassis, and a parcel carrier configured for being selectively coupled to and removed from the UAV chassis. UAV support mechanisms are utilized to load and unload parcel carriers to the UAV chassis, and the UAV lands on and takes off from the UAV support mechanism to deliver parcels to a serviceable point. The UAV includes computing entities that interface with different systems and computing entities to send and receive various types of information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: UNITED PARCEL SERVICE OF AMERICA, INC.
    Inventor: Julio Gil
  • Patent number: 10442478
    Abstract: System and apparatus for improving aerodynamics of a vehicle including: a plurality of stiffeners offset from each other; a first airfoil configured as a thin-form sheet; a second airfoil coupled to the first airfoil using the plurality of stiffeners, wherein a trailing edge of the first airfoil overlaps a leading edge of the second airfoil; an airflow inlet defined by a leading edge of the first airfoil and a pair of stiffeners of the plurality of stiffeners; and an airflow outlet defined by by the trailing edge of the first airfoil, the leading edge of the second airfoil, and the pair of stiffeners.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: ROCKETAIL, LLC
    Inventor: Jesse Regan
  • Patent number: 10414514
    Abstract: This invention discloses an aircraft control method, apparatus and an aircraft. The invention relates to the field of aircraft control technologies. The method includes: obtaining ambient luminance data by a luminance sensing apparatus of an aircraft; determining whether the ambient luminance data satisfies a luminance value required for normal running of a vision system of the aircraft; and adjusting, when the ambient luminance data does not satisfy the luminance value required for normal running of the vision system of the aircraft, a working status of a light emitting apparatus on the aircraft to change light emitting luminance of the light emitting apparatus. The foregoing aircraft control method, apparatus and the aircraft can accurately learn a flight environment in which the aircraft is located, thereby effectively implementing vision positioning on the aircraft and more conveniently controlling the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: AUTEL ROBOTICS CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Jian Yang
  • Patent number: 10392109
    Abstract: An aircraft system includes a wing member and a plurality of unmanned aircraft systems selectively connectable to the wing member. The wing member has a generally airfoil cross-section, a leading edge and a trailing edge. The unmanned aircraft systems have a connected flight mode while coupled to the wing member and an independent flight mode when detached from the wing member. In the connected flight mode, the unmanned aircraft systems are operable to provide propulsion to the wing member to enable flight. The unmanned aircraft systems are operable to be launched from the wing member to perform aerial missions in the independent flight mode and are operable to be recovered by the wing member and returned to the connected flight mode. Thereafter, in the connected flight mode, the unmanned aircraft systems are operable to be resupplied by the wing member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: Bell Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph Scott Drennan, John William Lloyd, Frank Bradley Stamps, Brett Rodney Zimmerman
  • Patent number: 10379546
    Abstract: Methods and systems described herein relate to power generation control for an aerial vehicle. An example method may involve determining an asynchronous flight pattern for two or more aerial vehicles, where the asynchronous flight pattern includes a respective flight path for each of the two or more aerial vehicles; and operating each of the aerial vehicles in a crosswind flight substantially along its respective flight path, where each aerial vehicle generates electrical power over time in a periodic profile, and where the power profile of each aerial vehicle is out of phase with respect to the power profile generated by each of the other aerial vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: Makani Technologies LLC
    Inventor: Damon Vander Lind
  • Patent number: 10365663
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle has a substrate. A tether sensor is mounted on the substrate. The tether sensor determines an orientation of the tether relative to the substrate. A micro controller, receiving the measured orientation from the tether sensor, determines an orientation of the tether relative to the substrate, and as a function of the orientation, determines a corrective value and outputs the corrective value to the unmanned aerial vehicle as at least one of a roll output and a pitch output control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: Hoverfly Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Alfred D. Ducharme, Daniel Burroughs, Lucas C. Whitaker
  • Patent number: 10341573
    Abstract: This invention discloses an aircraft control method, apparatus and an aircraft. The invention relates to the field of aircraft control technologies. The method includes: obtaining ambient luminance data by a luminance sensing apparatus of an aircraft; determining whether the ambient luminance data satisfies a luminance value required for normal running of a vision system of the aircraft; and adjusting, when the ambient luminance data does not satisfy the luminance value required for normal running of the vision system of the aircraft, a working status of a light emitting apparatus on the aircraft to change light emitting luminance of the light emitting apparatus. The foregoing aircraft control method, apparatus and the aircraft can accurately learn a flight environment in which the aircraft is located, thereby effectively implementing vision positioning on the aircraft and more conveniently controlling the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: AUTEL ROBOTICS CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Jian Yang
  • Patent number: 10308341
    Abstract: A gas density control system for airships is provide. The system embodies a hybrid ballonet and low pressure gas storage tank combination for regulating the density and volume of the airship lift gas, wherein the ballonet is fluidly connected to the storage tank by a transfer hose. The base of the ballonet is also sealed along an exterior surface of the length curvilinear geometric shaped storage tank so that as the storage tank selectively rotates the ballonet either wraps or unwraps around the length, whereby the lift gas transfer to and from the storage tank to the ballonet, respectively. A transfer hose reel is provided to rotate with the storage tank so that as the ballonet wraps about the storage tank the transfer hose winds about the transfer hose reel, and vice versa. Thereby the system precisely adjusts the ballonet's volume, which in turn controls its lifting force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Inventor: John Oliver Griffith
  • Patent number: 10143179
    Abstract: A robotic attacher comprises a main arm, a supplemental arm coupled to the main arm, and a gripping portion coupled to the supplemental arm. The supplemental arm moves in an x-direction and a y-direction. The gripping portion moves in a first z-direction in relation to the supplemental arm. The gripping portion also moves in a second z-direction opposite the first z-direction in relation to the supplemental arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventors: Henk Hofman, Cor de Ruijter, Menno Koekoek, Peter Willem van der Sluis
  • Patent number: 10137983
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, includes a fuselage, left and right airfoil-shaped wings connected to the fuselage to generate lift in forward flight, a left thrust-generating device supported by the left wing, and a right thrust-generating device supported by the right wing. The UAV further includes a vertical stabilizer, a top thrust-generating device mounted to a top portion of the vertical stabilizer, and a bottom thrust-generating device mounted to a bottom portion of the vertical stabilizer. An onboard power source is provided for powering the thrust-generating devices. The left, right, top and bottom thrust-generating devices provide forward thrust during forward flight and also provide vertical thrust to enable the unmanned aerial vehicle to take-off and land vertically when the fuselage is substantially vertical and further enabling the unmanned aerial vehicle to transition between forward flight and vertical take-off and landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Assignee: SkyX Limited
    Inventor: David Horn
  • Patent number: 10124908
    Abstract: Provided herein are systems and method for autonomously or semi-autonomously landing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on a landing pad. The landing pad can include features configured to correct misalignment of the UAV on the landing pad. The landing pad can additionally include one or more markers than can be identified by the UAV to aid the UAV in locating the landing pad and determining the location of the UAV relative to the landing pad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: Kespry Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin Stuart Stabler, Nathaniel Hall-Snyder, Paul Doersch, Marcus Hammond
  • Patent number: 10118687
    Abstract: An inflight connection system for aircraft having at least one wing with a wingtip includes, for each aircraft, a primary connector selectively extendable from the wingtip, an alignment connector selectively extendable from the wingtip and a male and female connector assembly disposed proximate the wingtip. The primary connectors extend a greater distance from the wingtips than the alignment connectors such that the primary connectors form a first connection between the aircraft when the aircraft are flying in a connection pattern. Thereafter, retraction of the primary connectors reduces wingtip separation of the aircraft such that the alignment connectors form a second connection between the aircraft establishing coarse alignment therebetween. Thereafter, retraction of the primary and alignment connectors further reduces wingtip separation of the aircraft such that the male and female connector assemblies form a third connection between the aircraft establishing fine alignment therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2018
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel Bryan Robertson, Kirk Landon Groninga, Frank Bradley Stamps
  • Patent number: 10081424
    Abstract: A vehicle which can travel on land, in water, or through air has a body like that of an automobile with powered wheels for providing propulsion on land. The vehicle also has rotors for providing propulsion in air and wings for providing lift. Storage compartments conceal the rotors during land operation, and in this mode the wings are folded down against the body, over the compartments. The wings and the rotors can be deployed to convert the vehicle to flight mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2018
    Inventor: Bogdan Radu
  • Patent number: 10059428
    Abstract: An inflight connection system for aircraft having at least one wing with a wingtip includes, for each aircraft, a primary connector selectively extendable from the wingtip, an alignment connector selectively extendable from the wingtip and a male and female connector assembly disposed proximate the wingtip. The primary connectors extend a greater distance from the wingtips than the alignment connectors such that the primary connectors form a first connection between the aircraft when the aircraft are flying in a connection pattern. Thereafter, retraction of the primary connectors reduces wingtip separation of the aircraft such that the alignment connectors form a second connection between the aircraft establishing coarse alignment therebetween. Thereafter, retraction of the primary and alignment connectors further reduces wingtip separation of the aircraft such that the male and female connector assemblies form a third connection between the aircraft establishing fine alignment therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2018
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel Bryan Robertson, Kirk Landon Groninga, Frank Bradley Stamps
  • Patent number: 10007890
    Abstract: The disclosed inventory systems and methods can be used to retrieve and transport items from one location in an inventory system to another. Specifically, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) including passive buoyancy element, a thrust unit, and a retention feature, can be controlled by a management component to retrieve one or more items, transport the item or items, and deposit the item or items. For example, a UAV can be controlled to obtain an item at one location in a warehouse such as a first floor and lift said item to a second location in the warehouse such as a second floor, and deposit the item at the second location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Oliver Christoph Purwin, Andrew Stubbs
  • Patent number: 9908618
    Abstract: Apparatus, methods, and systems for adjusting a center of mass of a drone may include a balance track and a repositionable weight. The balance track may be configured to extend outwardly from a central region of the drone. The balance track may include a plurality of weight-balance fixation positions. The repositionable weight may be configured to be secured at any one of the plurality of weight-balance fixation positions. In various embodiments the repositionable weight may include an electronic component. Various embodiments may include a another balance track configured to extend outwardly from the central region along a second axis that is different from a first axis of the other balance track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventors: Brad Lee Vaughn, Charles Wheeler Sweet, Vincent Kemler, Aine Mary Shivnan, Kaustubh Balkrishna Gondkar, James York Wilson, Michael Franco Taveira, Donald Hutson
  • Patent number: 9902496
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for reducing a force. An apparatus comprises a multi-directional joint assembly and a damper associated with the multi-directional joint assembly. The multi-directional joint assembly has a first end and a second end. The first end and the second end move relative to each other. The damper is comprised of a number of elastomeric layers and a number of rigid layers interspersed with each other reducing at least one of a force and a moment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventor: Scott Hendrik Bouwer
  • Patent number: 9896208
    Abstract: The present disclosure reveals a drone deployment system for use from an airborne aircraft such that the drone deployment system is capable of moving through the aircraft, picking up a drone with a grappling means attached to an extendable arm, moving to an opening in the aircraft, extending and deploying the drone. The drone deployment system is further capable of retrieving a drone by having the extendable arm extended out the opening in the aircraft, having the drone fly into the grappling means which then engages, holding the drone, and the extendable arm is then retractable so that the opening can be closed and the drone placed in storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Inventors: Alan Retig, David J Kreher
  • Patent number: 9868526
    Abstract: An airborne drone delivery network and method of operating same that provides an effective system to deliver items to a set number of delivery locations using drones in which the drone flight path is minimized and wherein the drones may be easily retrieved and reused for delivery of additional items.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: W. Morrison Consulting Group, Inc.
    Inventor: William M. Yates
  • Patent number: 9828092
    Abstract: Described is a system and method for utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAV”) to facilitate delivery of ordered items to user specified delivery destinations. In one implementation, the UAV may be configured as a one-way UAV that is designed to transport ordered items to the user specified delivery destination but not return to a materials handling facility under its own power. Instead, the one-way UAV may remain at the delivery destination for later retrieval by a retrieval unit (e.g., truck).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Amir Navot, Elad Ben-Israel
  • Patent number: 9815633
    Abstract: A method and system for evaluating and loading unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are described. The UAVs are moved by a conveyance device. It may be determined whether the UAV passes at least one of a structural integrity test or a functionality test. The UAV may be removed from the conveyance device in the event the UAV fails at least one of the structural integrity test or the functionality test. A package may be loaded into a compartment of the UAV in the event the UAV passes the structural integrity test and the functionality test.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Lauren Marie Kisser, Armando Medina Romero
  • Patent number: 9815570
    Abstract: An apparatus for detecting skew in a slat of an aircraft wing includes an elongated track moveably supported in the wing for longitudinal movement toward and away from a leading edge of the wing. The slat is coupled to a forward end of the track for conjoint movement therewith. An actuator is configured to selectably drive the track and slat between retracted and extended positions relative to the leading edge of the wing. A pinion gear is rotatably mounted in the wing and disposed in rolling engagement with a rack gear disposed on the track, and a sensor is coupled to the pinion gear and configured to sense the longitudinal position of the slat as a function of a rotational position of the pinion gear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Randall Eugene Anderson
  • Patent number: 9796472
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an automatic system suitable for reducing the speed of rotation of one or more suspended loads, preferably where said rotation is originated by the flow tube located downstream preferably of the blades of the helicopter whereto said loads are attached, or by any other cause, and whose mechanical operation is based on the use of at least one aerodynamic surface, which automatically positions so as to exert, through the actual interaction with this flow tube, an aerodynamic moment, with respect to the center of mass of these suspended loads, appropriately contrary to said speed of rotation, so as to determine the slowing and therefore the progressive stabilization thereof. The automation of this deceleration is obtained through the use of a cycle of automatic control which is based primarily on the interaction, obtained with a processor, between an element responsive to said speed of rotation and an actuator capable of rotating said aerodynamic surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: KONG S.P.A.
    Inventor: Marco Bonaiti
  • Patent number: 9796566
    Abstract: A boom extension and contraction mechanism for a crane apparatus includes: a flow passage switching mechanism that switches a flow passage of the hydraulic oil between the cylinder-to-boom connection switching cylinder side and the boom member connection switching cylinder side; a hose reel configured to reel out a hydraulic hose as a telescopic cylinder is extending, and to reel off the hydraulic hose as the telescopic cylinder is contracting; a cable used to supply power and transmit a signal between a swivel base and a boom; and a cord reel configured to reel out the cable as the telescopic cylinder is extending and to reel off the cable as the telescopic cylinder is contracting. The code reel and the hose reel are arranged on the base in a direction in which the boom extends and contracts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: TADANO LTD.
    Inventors: Masanori Matsuda, Kazu Nagahama
  • Patent number: 9764853
    Abstract: A motionless skew detection system for an aircraft is disclosed, and includes a flight control surface of an aircraft wing, two drive mechanisms for operating the flight control surface, a first load sensor and a second load sensor for each of the two drive mechanisms, and a control module. Each of the two drive mechanisms are located on opposing sides of the flight control surface and each of the two drive mechanisms include at least a first linkage including a first outer surface and a second linkage including a second outer surface. The first load sensor is disposed along the first outer surface of the first linkage and the second load sensor is disposed along the second outer surface of the second linkage. The control module is in signal communication with the first load sensor and the second load sensor of each drive mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Peter A. Padilla