PHASE 01SPIN-type

A Charging Station for Quadrocopters

Development of an IoT device for businesses utilizing quadrocopters

PROJECT PERIOD: 2.5 months

TRAINEE:
Masaru Makino

Masaru Makino

withSKYSENCE

We have developed a charging station for quadrocopters.
By installing stations on rooftops which quadrocopters can use to charge their batteries
if they run low during flight, we will alleviate the problem
which was becoming a bottleneck regarding batteries.
The primary focus of this phase was developing the roof for the charging station.

Figure: Outline

Prototype Demo

Prototype Scenes

  • Photo: Prototype Scenes
  • Photo: Prototype Scenes
  • Photo: Prototype Scenes
  • Photo: Prototype Scenes
  • Photo: Prototype Scenes
  • Photo: Prototype Scenes
  • Photo: Prototype Scenes
  • Photo: Prototype Scenes

About the Technology Used

Real-time notifications of quadrocopter approach and streaming function

By using a small Linux board (RaspberryPi), it is possible to utilize the many software assets accumulated in Linux developmentand achieve not only down-sizing and energy-saving, but also network connection, email transmission, streaming of images captured by a web camera and so on. The approach of quadrocopters is detected through motion detection of the camera equipped on the charging station and email notification is sent. Streaming from the web camera enables control while confirming the state of the quadrocopter.

Figure

A retractable roof able to be operated remotely

We have developed a retractable roof which can be operated remotely from PCs or smartphones. After several prototype builds, we adopted a “stroller model” (like the hood of a baby’s pram). The command for the roof to open or close is sent from the device via the internet by Raspberry Pi to Arduino, causing the motor to move. The opening and closing speed and fully-open, half-open are adjustable.

Figure

A control function compatible with any device

Using Node.js’s Socket. IO, we have enabled real-time control through socket communication which can maintain connection between the server and client. Moreover, special-purpose applications are not required, with all control being possible through a browser. This means that any device, whether it be PC, smartphone or something else, can be used to control the charger from anywhere in the world.

Figure

Figure: System Overview

Moving Forward

Figure: Moving Forward

The tentative sale of a roof-less version of this charger began from this January. (http://skysense.de/).
Currently, the development is ongoing, with a focus on higher performance of
the charging system (universalization, more supporting products) and roof implementation.
We are also searching for and investigating material with high water-resistance for the roof. In the future,
we plan to start working on the development of automatic landing, etc.