Mapture.ai adds automatic charging and 4G video streaming to drone box prototype

Earlier this year Mapture.ai presented its first drone box prototype, capable of automatic launching&landing and mission execution. In the past months the team has worked hard to add a couple of exciting new features to the drone box prototype, including automatic charging of the drone batteries and live video streaming capabilities over 4G networks. Next step is to further test the drone box in real world situations.

Our mission: an autonomous drone solution

The aim of Mapture.ai is to develop an autonomous drone solution that can execute all kinds of missions without any human intervention. That includes the take-off and landing procedures, closing and opening the box in which the drone resides between missions, autonomous mission execution, recharging the batteries and live streaming the video footage from the drone via 4G.

Applications

The applications for such a solution are endless, ranging from industrial monitoring (high frequency control flights), security (autonomously scanning an area or perimeter for anomalies), incident management (live streaming footage from a crash site), and farming (performing control flights over agricultural areas).

Automatic recharging

Our first prototype of the Mapture.ai drone box was already capable of automatic take-off and landing, including the opening and closing procedure of the storage box. Now the landing platform also includes a charging pad that allows the drone to recharge its batteries while grounded. During the landing procedure, the drone adjusts its orientation before it lands in order to align with the charging pad. The box contains all the necessary control logic to automatically start the charging process once the touch down of the drone is confirmed.

4G live video streaming

Another huge step forward is the addition of 4G live video streaming to the system. This allows the customer to monitor the video feed coming from the drone from any location. This opens the way for many monitoring and first responder-related applications, where it is of paramount importance to be able to see what is going on from a distance. The 4G connection also carries all the drone status information such as battery status, flight time, height, position, et cetera.

Warning lights and offsite monitoring

In order to be able to monitor the whole system from a distance, the drone box now also includes an integrated web cam that allows operators to visually check the operational status of the box and its surroundings before a mission is started. Four warning lights on top of the box show the system status.

Off-grid operations

In situations where no mains power is available, the Mapture.ai drone box now also supports 24v input for all integrated electronics and drone recharging functionality. This makes it possible to support off-grid operations. The drone box can be charged via solar panels so that the system can be placed on any location, as long as a 4G network is available to support the live video stream feature.

Weatherproofing

In order to sustain prolonged operations in outside environments all box electronics has been waterproofed. The moving parts of the landing platform are sealed. This way the drone box can be set up on rooftops and other places where no human supervision is required.

Next steps

Our next aim is to continue prolonged real world tests of the drone box system, including the option to supply the power needed by solar panels only. In addition we aim to further develop the user interface with multiple access levels, adjusted to the role of the user (operator, supervisor, administrator).

Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your business case!

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