UAV for Deliveries from Trucks Developed
Some foresee a future in which packages are left on our doorsteps by unmanned drones that fly back and forth from warehouses to our houses. Depending on how great a distance that is, that may not be the most practical approach. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati with AMP Electric Vehicles however have designed the HorseFly octocopter to deliver packages from delivery trucks as they make their rounds.
The partnership between the university and AMP was to develop a UAV to work in tandem with the company's electric delivery truck, dubbed WorkHorse. The resulting HorseFly UAV has been designed to sit atop the trucks and fly off after receiving a package from the driver. By scanning the barcode on the package, the drone can learn the address to deliver it to, and with GPS can actually get there. Meanwhile the truck can continue on its rounds, and the drone will return for the next package or a quick charge. To ensure the safety of the drone and its payload, the researchers built in many hardware redundancies, so that even after a failure of multiple rotors, both the drone and payload can be retrieved.
While this technology may sound like something really cool and something you want to see, it may be some time before that happens. While the university and AMP will continue to work on the HorseFly, current FAA regulations do not allow for the commercial use of drones, but new rules are expected to come in 2015.
Source: University of Cincinnati