Home Patent Forecast® Sectors Log In   Sign Up   Support   Contact  
Why Patent Forecast® What's Included Patent Forecast® Sectors Free Trial Pricing News Feed Subscribe Menu
Enjoy your FREE PREVIEW which shows only 2018 data and 25 documents. For full access, subscribe at any time.         Subscribe

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Search All Applications in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles


Application 20190250640


Published 2019-08-15

Aerial Vehicle Touchdown Detection

A technique is introduced for touchdown detection during autonomous landing by an aerial vehicle. In some embodiments, the introduced technique includes processing perception inputs with a dynamics model of the aerial vehicle to estimate the external forces and/or torques acting on the aerial vehicle. The estimated external forces and/or torques are continually monitored while the aerial vehicle is landing to determine when the aerial vehicle is sufficiently supported by a landing surface. In some embodiments, semantic information associated with objects in the environment is utilized to configure parameters associated with the touchdown detection process.


Classification


Much More than Average Length Specification


View the Patent Matrix® Diagram to Explore the Claim Relationships

4 Independent Claims

  • Independent Claim 1. A method for landing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the method comprising: processing, by the processor, perception inputs using a dynamics model of the UAV to estimate external forces and/or external torques acting on the UAV while the UAV is descending to land on a physical surface in a physical environmentdetermining, by the processor, based on the estimated external forces and/or external torques that the UAV is in contact with the physical surfacegenerating, by the processor, a first control command configured to cause a propulsion system of the UAV to gradually reduce thrust over a period of timemonitoring, by the processor, changes in the estimated external forces and/or external torques as the propulsion system gradually reduces thrust over the period of timedetermining, by the processor, based on the monitoring that the UAV is supported by the physical surfaceand generating, by the processor, a second control command configured to cause the propulsion system to power down in response to determining that the UAV is supported by the physical surface.

  • Independent Claim 17. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) comprising: a propulsion systema sensor deviceand a navigation system communicatively coupled to the sensor device and the propulsion system, the navigation system configured to: process sensor data received from the sensor device using the dynamics model of the UAV to estimate external forces and/or external torques acting on the UAV while the UAV is in flight through the physical environmentdetermine, based on the estimated external forces and/or external torques, that the UAV is in contact with a physical surface in the physical environmentcause the propulsion system to gradually reduce thrust over a period of timemonitor changes in the estimated external forces and/or external torques as the propulsion system gradually reduces thrust over the period of timedetermine, based on the monitoring, that the UAV is supported by the physical surfaceand cause the propulsion system to power down in response to determining that the UAV is supported by the physical surface.

  • Independent Claim 27. A system for controlling an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the system comprising: an external force estimation module configured to: process sensor data received from one or more sensors onboard the UAV using a dynamics model of the UAV to continually estimate external forces and/or external torques acting on the UAV while the UAV is in flight through a physical environmentand output, and continually update, force data indicative of the estimated external forces and/or external torques acting on the UAVa touchdown detection module configured to: output a first signal in response to determining, by processing the force data using a machine learning model, that the UAV is in contact with a surface in the physical environmentand output a second signal in response to determining, by processing the force data using the machine learning model, that the UAV is supported by the surface in the physical environmenta flight controller module configured to: generate a first control command configured to cause a propulsion system to gradually reduce thrust over a period of time in response to receiving the first signal from the touchdown detection moduleand generate a second control command configured to cause the propulsion system to gradually reduce thrust to zero in response to receiving the second signal from the touchdown detection module.

  • Independent Claim 29. A manned aircraft comprising: one or more control actuatorsa manual control system for receiving input from a pilot of the manned aircraft and adjusting the one or more control actuators to maneuver the manned aircraft based on the input from the pilotone or more sensorsand an automated landing system configured to: in response to an instruction to land: initiate an automated landing sequence to autonomously land the manned aircraft on a physical surface in a physical environmentprocess perception inputs based on sensor data from the one or more sensors using a dynamics model of the manned aircraft to estimate external forces and/or external torques acting on the manned aircraft while the manned aircraft is descending to land on the physical surface in the physical environmentdetermine based on the estimated external forces and/or external torques that the manned aircraft is in contact with the physical surfacegenerate a first control command configured to adjust the one or more control actuators to gradually reduce thrust by a propulsion system over a period of timemonitor changes in the estimated external forces and/or external torques as the thrust is gradually reduceddetermine based on the monitoring that the manned aircraft is supported by the physical surfaceand generate a second control command configured to adjust the one or more control actuators to power down a propulsion system in response to determining that the manned aircraft is supported by the physical surface.