A Novel Architecture for Multipurpose Reconfigurable Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV): Concept, design and prototype manufacturing

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2018-12-24

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)-or drones-are expected to have an impact on the global market about US 2 billion by 2022 [1]. New technologies are expected to make possible applications like cargo transportation, agriculture support, publicity, pest control, surveillance, inspection, entertainment, and so on. Each one of the potential applications typically requires a robot with a particular physical structure (number and position of actuators, flight autonomy, impulse capacity, set of sensors, the capacity of communication, etc.). It is unthinkable today to consider the use of the same drone in such distinct applications. Paradoxically, the software for all these applications shares very similar processes. The capacity of physically reconfiguring a UAV would confer an enormous tactical and commercial advantage in this expanding market. This work proposes a novel architecture for reconfigurable multipurpose UAVs that allows the connection of some specialized modules that can make robots suitable to attend applications that require different robots today. This paper describes the fundamental electrical, mechanical and computational concepts of this architecture and presents a prototype manufactured according to these guidelines. The first tests with the prototype corroborate that the technology is feasible.

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Proceedings - 15th Latin American Robotics Symposium, 6th Brazilian Robotics Symposium and 9th Workshop on Robotics in Education, LARS/SBR/WRE 2018, p. 451-456.

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