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Medication Drop with a Phantom

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PhantomRock, May 6, 2014.

  1. PhantomRock

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    In the RC world, many people use a spare radio channel to release things like parachutes,etc.

    I know that the vision plus does not have a spare radio channel, but I have the following need.

    It can take a few hours for a high-angle rescue team to arrive at a hiker or climber stuck on a ledge, and I want
    a way to fly a phantom to the subject, and drop lightweight things, like insulin, medications, SAM Splint,etc.
    It is too dangerous to tow a line and expect the subject to remove it, we risk losing the entire craft if it tangles.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.
    It can be:
    1. a separate receiver, which does not interfere with the Phantom frequencies
    2. some ingenious way of doing a release when you make 2 clockwise 360 degree turn-arounds,etc.
    3. a line that disengages upon x lbs. of pull.
    4. anything else you can think of.

    Thanks.
     
  2. thongbong

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  3. thongbong

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    A P2 5.8ghz Phantom may be a better solution. And you would probably have to install a different Rx/Tx like a futaba for the extra channel to control a servo for the drop arm. I've been contemplating this also, but for waterbaloons and easter eggs.
     
  4. Madwak

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    I was thinking the same when I read the title, that phrase will definitely have been picked up by the "watchers" :D
     
  5. OI Photography

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    While it could be done with a Phantom, that's certainly not the optimum platform for it. The payload you could carry would be extremely small, both in size and weight, after you add the gear necessary to be able to drop anything from it on command.

    I'm a member of a group of drone owners (multirotor and fixed wing) who have been putting a lot of effort in to working out the best ways to use these for exactly what you're trying to do. There's a number of payload delivery systems that are being tested and deployed, but all of them need a bigger airframe than the Phantom. I'm doing some of the testing on my 550, but even that is about as small as you'd want to use for this type of mission. Don't get me wrong...the Phantom certainly can be useful in SAR efforts (and mine is prepped for that as well), but if you need a payload delivery platform that can carry more than one or two very small items you'll want to look at something bigger.

    If you want to see what you can achieve with the Phantom, you'll probably want to start with something like this, which would use a spare receiver channel to activate: http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/Defau ... ID=EFLA405
     
  6. IrishSights

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    Old title still shows in Tapatalk
     
  7. PhantomRock

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    OI Photography, Thanks alot.
    I am wondering since we can fly with the camera fixed tilted almost all the way down, if the tilt channel can be used for this on a vision plus. There are advantages to a smaller copter, it is easier to carry a couple of miles into the forest.
     
  8. Bluegrass

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    If you removed the camera, you certainly would be able to put a small payload of medication. If there is no communications with the stranded person, you want to enable someway for them to post a note by the climber. I think something could be worked out using the gimbal tilt command. Not sure how the Vision works but it would for sure work on the Phantom 2 non vision. A camera would still be nice to have for a rescue but a much smaller one could be mounted for this type of situation.
     
  9. Cr8tive_leo

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    Using a toy for delivery system, interesting.

    Phantom would not be in my list of birds to use for any type of payload drop off, a 550 frame would be the smallest that could be considered. A custom frame either a hex or octa setup for payload lift bare minimum. Doing a custom build lets you choose what you need for the job you need, not a 'let's try to figure out how to' situation.

    Look at an ironman setup, trying to do something that can't handle a bit of wind will be more dangerous than spending the extra cash on a machine built for the elements.
     
  10. Madwak

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    A piece of balsa wood or polystyrene fastened across the landing skids with a few metres of nylon cord and the package tied to the end might do the job? After seeing videos of how the phantom fights to retain its position when in GPS mode I would guess that if someone managed to grab the package the balsa wood would break quite easily if pre-notched and allow the cord to detach without downing the phantom. I know it sounds a bit of a bodge suggestion but it might be worth trying :?:
     
  11. OI Photography

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    No problem! Are you talking about flying it directly in to the forest, like below the canopy? You won't be able to get very far no matter what platform you use, the control range will be severely limited. Flying above the trees is a different story, and any platform can be setup to go as far as any Phantom (or farther, with much more carrying capacity).

    While the 7th channel is used for gimbal tilt on the P2V, I'm not sure if it can be repurposed like in other models (including the regular P2).

    As Leo points out, while the Phantom will make an interesting proof-of-concept for something like that, its likely usefulness in real-world situations is severely limited...the small cameras it can carry could be much more valuable than whatever you might be able to strap to it.

    Several scenarios we've mapped out do include using a Phantom or something similar as a spotter platform for whatever other drones are assisting (tracking, delivering, etc).
     
  12. PhantomRock

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    Yes, I understand that a hex would be better as a main unit for a group.
    However, these "toys" are easy to fly, easier to carry in a backpack, and a lot people own these as personal gear.
    Unless I am wrong and there are models that are in this weight range....

    You don't need this where humans can easily go.
    It would be used to scan cliff faces, the perimeter of lakes, swamps and wetlands,etc.
    Also perhaps as a look ahead up a Gas Pipeline cut (not a power line cut).
    You would have a clearing of the canopy most situations.
     
  13. PhantomRock

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    OI Photography, I wonder if anyone in your group has tried hobbyking's $28 4-channel wifi receiver.

    https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/sto ... eiver.html

    My thinking is that this is only a receiver and therefore would not jam the phantom's usage of WiFi.

    I know that the phantom is not for professional use, but right now the status as I see it is, that most SAR groups are volunteers and use public funds. At this point they will not commit such funds for larger units until there is clarity that they are not considered "commercial." As soon as there is some clarity (and/or regulation) everyone will jump on the bandwagon.

    At that point, will you take a newbie and ask him to fly a $20k craft with FLIR cameras,etc.
    Training takes time, so the best thing is for hobbyists to model all things now with cheaper craft, to get a pool of volunteers who have practiced with entry level systems, and know how to fly, drop payloads, raise a repeater or antenna, track coverage and flight paths on a topo map, etc.

    The Phantom is mature enough to act as a model until things clear up.
     
  14. Suwaneeguy

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    How about this idea?
    You will need to experiment with the total weight a bit.
    Get yourself a lightweight polyester rope.
    I have one that is 100 ft long and my P2 can handle it with no trouble.
    Attach a 20ft length to the bird. A "bucket" or bag on the other end.
    Put whatever you need in the bucket.
    Now fly the bird to the person where they can reach the bucket/bag.
    No need for an RC servo.

    I used to be a search and rescue communications guy so I know what you mean.
    We could have used these birds back in the 70's a hundred times.
     
  15. PhantomRock

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    Thanks, I will try things.

    My thinking is that in a year from now when the dust settles, there should be a forum where all SAR agencies can go and see all the experimentation done, and different methods used, so they don't waste their time. This would best be if this would be a separate forum. Otherwise, all these postings will be a mess intermingled with regular user stuff.

    If the moderators of the current board would please allow a separate forum for Search and Rescue, it would allow those that are interested in this field to keep things separate. If it is not in the scope of the current site, perhaps I will set up such a board somewhere.

    Thanks to all for your help.
     
  16. styloblanc

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  17. PhantomRock

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    Scary, I don't think the people in local parks would want to see one of these around.
    You could use the base plate,though, and attach something that will not look so scary.

    After looking at some of the posters on the thread you quoted, i think this would generate negative publicity for the hobby.

    Of course, you can use a knife to cut bread and for other things. Likewise, some of these trackers used for tracking Phantoms are advertised on Amazon in a way to suggest invasion of privacy far worse than a phantom possibly can.

    But we are in a state of flux at this point, so I will hold off on my forum ideas.

    Thanks to all for your help.
     
  18. OI Photography

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    PhantomRock, I do agree that more preparation is always good, and I don't mean to discourage your (or anyone's) efforts to help with things like this. The Phantom can indeed be a useful tool in certain SAR situations, but I've seen a lot of overestimations of its capability for this by owners already, and the P2V already limits you more than other models due to the weight of the camera module you're already carrying.

    Please don't think that your efforts are wasted at this time, there's a lot of momentum already from others with the same line of thinking as yourself. You can check out (or even join) this group for more insight: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sardrones/
     
  19. PhantomRock

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    Thanks. Understood.
     
  20. EMCSQUAR

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    I tend to agree w/Leo - Phantom platform is too small for what you're wanting to accomplish. As he stated a 550 or bigger would be more up to the tasks you're asking it to perform. The bigger platforms would be more manueverable also and capable of carrying payloads & camera plus offer more options & flexability.