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HivePort -- airports for drones so we can fly further

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by aseidman, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. aseidman

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    I'm working on a project called HivePort and would love your feedback.

    What is HivePort?
    HivePorts (or Hives for short) are little airports for drones where you can safely land your drone. You can either request a battery recharge or simply come and fetch your drone. Ultimately, you could deliver stuff to a Hive.

    Why?
    I want to fly my drone further. One can fly to the Golden Gate Bridge do some video shooting without worrying about whether or not there will be enough battery to return home safely.

    How it works?
    Each Hive is operated by a trusted member of the community called a Hive Keeper. Before flying your drone to a Hive you can see...
    -It’s coordinates.
    -360 degree photos of the Hive
    -Hive owner / operator and reviews about their Hive operation.
    -Hours of Operation.
    -Services provided (battery recharge by make and model)

    Is there anything else you would want to know about the Hive before flying there?

    Quick questions...

    -Would you use the Hives if they were around your area?
    -What would you use them for?
    -Would you consider becoming a Hive keeper?
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Maybe it makes sense in your mind but as it is here I can't see it being practical.
    You want to fly your drone to and land at someone else's house - somewhere out of visual range and land using only FPV (assuming you still have control signal).
    Obstacles might be a big issue here?
    If you managed to land safely ... what then? Do you want the LZ owner to charge your bird and put it back on the pad so you can take off remotely (again assuming you still have signal)? And then fly off somewhere even further away - and then what?
    I think driving closer to the Golden Gate with a couple of batteries and flying where you can see your bird and control it properly makes a lot more sense. You'd get more flying in at the point of interest and still be home the same night.
    It might be tricky to find someone that wants to have stranger's quads falling out of the sky around their house and you might like to have a thought about liability in that situation.
     
  3. aseidman

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    Thx for the feedback, it's an ambitious concept:)

    Flying there would have to be done autonomously. I've done a bunch of flights like this without any issues.

    Agreed. Each Hive would have to be in an open area or elevated as to avoid obstacles upon landing and takeoff.

    Hive keeper could either set the drone to return to you if you have a nearby Hive or you could come and fetch it.

    If you know the drone owner or can see their profile and accept/deny their landing attempt my sense is that there is a level of trust could be established. People stay at total strangers house overnight via things like AirBnB and HomeAway so the idea of a drone stopping by for an hour or so seems doable.
     
  4. Fyod

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    It would be even better if the Phantom could be induction charged via a landing pad on top of a street lamp :)
    But yeah, I tried landing my P2 in a yard 100m away behind a couple buildings and while the RC was fine, the FPV totally lost signal at about 6m high (no LOS).
     
  5. aseidman

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    Like it!

    Though delivery of stuff would be more challenging from that position:)
     
  6. tgreenstone

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    I see it as a great idea but maybe more as a "runway". A place to start or meet before using your Phantom. Place that provides power, expertise, and possible battery rentals so you always have one topped off. Like trade in a dead battery for charged one. All batteries are owned by the hive and "leased" to those who want to use them.

    It could really expand and adapt for each of its locations. I know near me, all the local flying clubs are fixed wing and helicopters. (as far as i know) It would be nice to have ones more tailored for the multi-copters/Phantoms
     
  7. DrD

    DrD

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    HivePort? Not so much...

    BUT, <Begin concept>: Use of a low intensity laser station to illuminate a remotely selectable landing zone. The phantom, with a -selectable- remote landing feature, would use the laser illumination to guide itself to the illuminated precision landing spot. Embedded in this idea is safety of course, such that it would not be of harmful intensity, (like a laser level ), possibly digitally encoded, (so that ONLY the phantom with the magic decoder ring could use!), intended to be directed at a specific location where landing is planned. <end concept>

    HIves? Well, with only 20 minutes (±) of battery limited flight time, who needs a HivePort? Just have a friend, stationed at the LZ, use remote (laser pen station) equipment, to illuminate the far end LZ. The pilot, located at the initial end, sets up Ground Station: waypoints, altitude, and -selects- the remote auto land option, (my, as yet uninvented, feature for Vision!), verify, turn on recording!, and hit GO! The rest of the process (as always) is in higher hands...

    At least with that kind of technology, all 20 minutes, (or so!), would be available for a ONE WAY trip, instead of maybe 50% for round tripping. Imagine ... you could open up a whole new competition! ==> longest ONE WAY distance record, maybe even with badges, ("We don't need no stinkin badges!").

    And yes, we KNOW all the MYRIAD regulations that are bound to be imposed by the incessant regulator mindsets that will, like cockroaches, funnel out of the woodwork to prohibit this notion, ruining a great, harmless, idea, simply in need of engineering, to become practical reality (you KNOW who you are).

    -Dale- (Dreamin ... I must be dreamin ..., la, la, la)
     
  8. 480sparky

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    Liability.

    Zoning ordinances.

    Insurance.

    Scheduling.

    IRS and taxes.

    I gotta charge the battery of anything that drops in?

    The FAA.


    All five Sharks are out.
     
  9. tgreenstone

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    But...But...Butttt I'll give you a 50% battery recharging discount. Free Stickers :lol:
     
  10. aseidman

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    I know of folks using beacon technology http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBeacon for this. The GPS guides the drone to the landing zone and once it's within a 50-70 foot range the beacon guides the drone down to a very precise location. It's very cheap technology - simple low energy bluetooth chips on both ends, and works well in lots of different environments.
     
  11. aseidman

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    I like this concept of using the Hives as a community gathering place and leasing equipment. Clever! It will also help build trust, so if you do end up flying your drone to the Hive you know the keeper and he knows you.
     
  12. tgreenstone

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    I sense a kickstarter project in the future. The concepts and ideas are all there, just need to be refined into a structure and bring it all to reality.
     
  13. IflyinWY

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    Location:
    Where the deer and the antelope play
    What if one of my cows steps on your drone? :eek:

    Does anyone have the 20 mile range to get here?

    Does anyone else in WY fly a Phantom?

    Cool concept for "The City" - except for the sharks.

    So with all myself and others have said, I share this thought.
    Somehow I get it done when I don't know I can't do it. :idea:
     
  14. tgreenstone

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    Your thought there is certainly a tongue twister but i believe it 100%. Very, very true
     
  15. aseidman

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    Great questions, let me take one at a time...

    Zoning - these would need to be in more open areas e.g. larger private properties or elevated areas. In the early days of trains in England people complained about the noise and location of trains as well. So, there will be people who will complain.

    Insurance -- in the early days it's fly at your own risk. Each Hive keeper would have a profile and reviews so you would know what your getting into. Like most online communities we would work to develop a sense of trust.

    Scheduling -- our software will take care of this. Here is a quick overview of how it will work:
    a) Drone owner requests landing with timeframe e.g. today at 4:00 to 4:15.
    b) Hive keeper approves/denies landing
    c) Once drone is airborne and on it's way the Hive keeper is alerted of incoming.
    d) Once drone safely lands the Hive Keeper sends photo confirmation to the drone owner.


    IRS and Taxes -- if you start making money on the recharges and earn more than $600 / yr we will automatically issue you the correct tax paperwork so that you can file it as income.


    Do you have to recharge everything that drops in? As the Hive keeper you advertise exactly which batteries you can recharge. Perhaps you can only handle Phantom and Iris drones -- whatever you can handle is published/advertised up front to everybody so everybody knows before flying their drone to your hive. It's kind of like advertising your vacation rental -- some homes have some amenities while others don't.


    The FAA -- now that's a harder one to answer;-) I think we are at a point where drones are inevitable. They will be part of our society, and Congress has made that clear to the FAA. Hives will exist beyond the US -- places like Brazil, Peru, etc. where the transportation infrastructure is not as developed as the US.
     
  16. aseidman

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    If your cow steps on my drone -- that's one that I haven't heard yet:)

    In all seriousness could you have a spot on your land where cows cannot reach. If so, we would could get a Hive setup as I'm sure that other folks in WY do fly drones and would love to use your Hive so they can fly further.
     
  17. SteveMann

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    Why?

    Why do you need to fly further? Seriously, I don't see a need. If I need a 50-mile range, I would fly a fixed-wing fuel-powered model aircraft.

    I can see some merit to this. Sort of like a Drone Pony Express. The drone arrives and gets a new horse (battery) then gets sent on its' way. Eventually.

    This is likely what UPS is thinking. Customer orders an item with drone delivery, UPS sends a drone from a distribution point to a UPS store near the customer, the store removes the package, sets a return program, install a new battery and sends the drone home. The customer goes to the UPS store to pick up the package an hour after it was ordered.

    Proof of concept: Send a Phantom 100 miles through your network of friends and you will learn the logistical problems involved.
     
  18. aseidman

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    Why do I need to fly further?
    - If I need to drop something off at a friends house 30 miles from my house getting into a car and driving there with traffic, etc. is a big hassle and frankly kind of dangerous.
    - If I want to capture video of a boats on SF Bay I can only do that if I can stop and re-charge at one of the islands or across the bay. No way I will be able to get all the shots I want and then also return home safely on one battery charge.

    Airplanes, cars, etc. often need to stop and re-fuel to get to their destination so drones will need to do the same.

    Great suggestion re: Proof of Concept. It's well underway -- lots of great logistical problems to solve.
     
  19. 480sparky

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    Zoning: Meaning: I'm operating a business out of my home. In many 'political subdivisions', that brings a lot of zoning laws (area zoned for residential, not commercial), permits, bonding, insurance, traffic, parking etc. questions into the equation.
     
  20. SayntJ

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    I'd think something more in the way of a large open area with operating pads, and maybe nearby some good scenery, that have upgraded antennae for longer range video feeds so you can take fuller advantage of the controller's range.