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Title:
DRONE DOCKING STATION AND DELIVERY SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/094067
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed herein is a system and device for a drone docking station for deposit of items delivered by drone. Items may include but not be limited to food items, groceries and parcels. A secure porch, roof, window or otherwise building mounted box may be secured through to an existing edifice or may be configured to mount to an existing mailbox post and actually take the place of the mailbox. The basic elements making of components of the box enable it to carry out one efficient and secure delivery of goods to a container box located at a specific address, and to securely hold those good until they are picked up regardless of duration, weather, or otherwise. The drone dock may employ many different technological devices in order to provide for communication between the drone dock and a drone, security, and preservation of the delivered goods before during and after delivery.

Inventors:
O'TOOLE, Daniel, S. (13867 Smokey Ridge Drive, Carmel, IN, 46033, US)
Application Number:
US2015/062034
Publication Date:
June 16, 2016
Filing Date:
November 21, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
O'TOOLE, Daniel, S. (13867 Smokey Ridge Drive, Carmel, IN, 46033, US)
International Classes:
B64C19/00; B64C39/02; B64F1/32
Domestic Patent References:
2013-11-14
2014-11-13
Foreign References:
DE202014000236U12014-02-10
US6426699B12002-07-30
US20140032034A12014-01-30
US6715599B12004-04-06
US3593914A1971-07-20
US8448407B12013-05-28
US7320427B22008-01-22
US5867099A1999-02-02
US1616269A1927-02-01
Other References:
"Drone delivery nets could be the mailboxes of the future", 18 November 2014 (2014-11-18), pages 2, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20160108]
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RITCHISON, John, D. (115 E Ninth St - Suite A, Anderson, IN, 46016, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

Claim 1. A drone docking station device comprising:

A container for accepting deliveries of food items, groceries or parcels;

Said container mounted to a building, house, post,

porch, roof, window or existing mailbox; and

A device mounted on the container for communicating with the drone .

Claim 2. A drone dock and delivery box for accepting drone deliveries comprising:

a means of locating the drone dock such that the drone may accurately approach and dock with it

A means of engaging the drone dock such that a stable connection or attachment can be made

A means of transferring the contents of the drone to the interior of the drone dock

A means of preserving and securely container? storing the delivered goods once in the drone dock

A mean of disengaging (release) from the drone dock.

A means of communication between the drone and the drone dock, either directly or through a remote server.

One or more functional components incorporated within the box to allow for preservation and security of the stored goods, and to prevent damage during the transfer and or subsequent storage, (soft and curve)

A means of securing the box to a structure post mount located at a residential or commercial address.

Claim 3. The docking station of claim 1 further comprising:

Engagement signal wave of a drone with the drone docking station triggering the transmission of a code unlocking the container;

Wherein communication between a drone and the docking station

is wireless either directly or through a remote server; and

Wherein the wireless communication may be Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, satellite, or through an RFID mechanism.

Claim 4. The docking station of claim 1 further comprising:

The container including a device capable of communicating GPS information to a drone to facilitate docking with said container .

Claim 5. The docking station of claim 3 further wherein

disengagement of a drone from the docking station triggers the container to securely close.

Claim 6. The docking station of claim 5 further comprising a curved bottom in the interior of the container to mitigate the abruptness of dropping an item into the container.

Claim 7. The docking station of claim 5 further comprising a soft material in the bottom of the interior of the container to mitigate the abruptness of dropping an item into the container. Claim 8. The docking station of claim 5 wherein the container is temperature controlled.

Claim 9. The docking station of claim 5, wherein the docking station includes a power source, said power source being any of a connection to an electronic outlet, onboard battery power, wind power, or solar power.

Claim 9. The docking station of claim 5, wherein solar panels are mounted on the docking station.

Claim 10. The docking station of claim 9, wherein delivery of items from a drone into the container triggers a signal to one or more parties that the items have been delivered. Claim 11. The docking station of claim 10, further comprising charging a drone's power source while it is connected to the docking station.

Claim 12. The docking station of claim 11, wherein a drone or the drone dock sends information on any of charging status, takeoff status, or delivery status to one or more parties.

Claim 13. The docking station of claim 12, wherein the docking station container has a heated top.

Claim 14. The docking station of claim 13 further comprising a mounted security camera.

Claim 15. The docking station of claim 14, wherein the docking station is mounted to a surface by hardware capable of anchoring into wood, concrete, metal, or masonry.

Claim 16. The docking station of claim 15 further comprising structures enabling a two phased docking approach, said phases being a first phase comprising an initial contact between the drone and the docking station, and a second phase of guiding a drone into a final landing position on the docking station.

Claim 17. The docking station of claim 15 further comprising one or more devices connected to the container enabling a recipient of the delivered goods to unlock the container through an entered code, a key, a keypad or through unlocking via a mobile electronic device software application.

Claim 18. The device of claim 1 further comprising a letter slot allowing for one way deposits of mail.

Claim 19. The device of claim 1 further comprising a motion flood light for enhanced area security and a lighted address Claim 20. The device of claim 1 further comprising a battery exchange mechanism to provide means for interchanging drone batteries and exchanging a discharged battery with a charged battery .

Description:
For a Drone Docking Station and Delivery System

Prepared by: John D. Ritchison, Patent Attorney Reg. No. 37222

Ritchison Law Offices, PC, 115 E Ninth Street - Suite A

Anderson, Indiana 46016 Tel. 765-640-4134 jdritchison@coracast.net

TITLE: Drone Docking Station and Delivery System

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS and CONTINUITY:

[0001] This application is a Continuation-in-Part [C.I. P.] filed under 37 CFR 1.53(b) and claims the benefit of the

original, non-provisional (Regular Utility) U.S. Patent

Application Serial No. 14/565,418 submitted December 9, 2014 and as yet not published. The original application was still active on the date of the submission of this C.I. P. The original is entitled a "Drone Docking Station and Delivery System" and was submitted by Dan 0' Toole. The original application is

incorporated fully by reference as if it were reproduced here, verbatim .

FIELD OF INVENTION:

[0002] The invention relates to drones and delivery of parcels or goods.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0003] None.

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM: [0004] None.

BACKGROUND-FIELD OF INVENTION and PRIOR ART:

A. Background:

[0005] As drone delivery becomes ubiquitous, abundant and global the volume of unattended parcels dropped at businesses and residences will significantly increase. The high volume of parcels dropped will increase the exposure of theft, damage, etc. Thus there remains a need for a drone compatible secure delivery box that can reliably receive goods forma drone. The Drone Dock will save shippers significant amounts of money through the secure storage of delivered goods

B. Prior Art:

[0006] As far as known there are no other devices or process that perform t e function of t e D one Docki g Station and.

Delivery System by Dan 0' Toole. A U.S. published patent

application US 20150183528 Al by Walsh et al and entitled

"Landing Pad for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Delivery" teaches a.

landing pad that receives and stores packages delivered from an aerial vehicle are awaiting pickup from an aerial vehicle. The landing pad can be placed outside of a window and can contain a transmitter for sending out an identification signal via radio frequency to aid aerial vehicles in finding the landing pad. The landing pad contains a landing platform with a trapdoor that leads to a storage compartment. The trapdoor can be configured to only open when it receives a signal fro an authorized aerial vehicle. The storage compartment can be accessed via a storage compartment door which can contain a locking mechanism. The storage compartment can be climate controlled. The landing pad can also have a transmitter that emits sounds to discourage animals from nesting on or near the landing pad. The landing pad can also include a solar power generator as a source of electrical energy . 0' Toole in his device and system teaches many more features and improvements over Walsh as to the

handling, security and communications with the drone pad.

[0007] Another U.S. published patent application US

20150158599 hi by Sisko entitled "Robotic aerial vehicle

delivery system and method" shows a delivery support system that accommodates and supports the delivery of packages, parcels and other items via an unmanned aerial vehicle. The system includes components to appropriately position a landing platform at a position and orientation that is away from general traffic areas and thus minimizes the potential for interaction with, and injury to individuals what may be in the area. The system further includes handling accommodations to cause delivered items to be transferred to a location readily accessible by an individual or person. The platform further includes systems to communicate with the unmanned aerial vehicle to aid in the delivery operations, and to confirm appropriate delivery of items . Again, this device does not anticipate or render obvious the 0' Toole device and system that teaches many more features and improvements over Sisko as to the handling, security and communications with the drone pad.

[0008] Still another U.S. published patent application US 20150175276 Al by Koster and entitled "Delivery platform for unmanned aerial vehicles" demonstrates an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) delivery apparatus is provided. The UAV delivery apparatus may include at least a pole and a landing platform. The pole of the present invention may have an extended length with a bottom end and a top end. The bottom end is securable to a surface to support the pole in an upright position. This published device again does not anticipate or render obvious the 0' Toole device and system that teaches many more features and improvements over Koster as to the handling, security and communications with the drone pad. As far as known, there are no devices such as the present drone system and station device. It is believed that this DroneDek is unique in its design and technologies .

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] Disclosed herein is a system and device for a drone docking station for deposit of items delivered by drone. Items may include but not be limited to food items, groceries and parcels. A secure porch, roof, window or otherwise building mounted box may be secured through to an existing edifice or may be configured to mount to an existing mailbox post and actually take the place of the mailbox. In its preferred embodiment the drone parcel-receiving box may accommodate any item within size parameters that are drone-able. Typically a drone can carry a parcel the size of 2 ' x2 ' and weighing around 51bs, however the disclosure is not limited by any particular size delivery provided it can be carried by a drone. The drone dock may be made of either an abs plastic or steel construction or other suitable material.

[0010] The basic elements making of components of the box enable it to carry out one efficient and secure delivery of goods to a container box located at a specific address , and to securely hold those good until they are picked up regardless of duration, weather, or otherwise. The drone dock may employ many different technological devices in order to provide for communication between the drone dock and a drone, security, and preservation of the delivered goods before during and after delivery . OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES/BENEFITS

[0011] The Objects, Advantages and Benefits of the Drone Docking Station and Delivery System include, for example, but are not limited to:

Objects :

A. To provide for communication between the drone dock and a drone

B. To provide security, and preservation of the delivered goods before during and after delivery

Advantages and Benefits:

The DroneDek system offers:

1. Security

2. Weather Proof

3. GPS Location Enabled

4. Charging Station

5. Solar Powered

6. Drop Off and Pick Up

7. Flexible installation

8. Connectivity

9. Remote Access

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURES

[0012] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of a Drone Docking Station and Delivery System that is preferred. The drawings together with the summary

description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of a Drone Docking Station and Delivery System. It is understood, however, that the DroneDeck is not limited to only the precise arrangements and

instrumentalities shown. [0013] FIG. 1 shows a general embodiment indicating some of the features of the invention herein. Shown is a drone

interfacing with a delivery container.

[0014] Figure 2 A shows one embodiment for container design which includes a padding element and Figure 2 B shows one embodiment for container design which includes a sloped or curved interior surface to prevent parcel damage.

[0015] Figures 3 and Figures 3 A through 3 C show the

communication and delivery system from the order of the product/ parcel to the delivery.

[0016] Figures 4 A through 4 E show the delivery by a drone at the residential or commercial receiving location.

[0017] Figures 5 A through 5 C show a general embodiment indicating some of the features of the DroneDek.

[0018] Figures 6 A through 6 D show a general embodiment of the DroneDek and indicating more of the additional features of the invention.

[0019] Figures 7 A through 7 D show a general embodiment indicating still more of the additional features of the

DroneDek .

[0020] Figures 8 A through 8 C show an embodiment indicating features of the DroneDek.

[0021] Figures 9 A and 9 B show a general embodiment

indicating some of the communication features of the DroneDek.

[0022] Figures 10 A through 10 C show added options for a DroneDek .

[0023] Figures 11 A through 11 C show a general embodiment indicating some of the pick-up mechanisms of the DroneDek. DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS - REFERENCE NUMERALS

[0024] The following list shows a reference number to the drawings :

No. Description

30 drone docking system 30 for deposit of items delivered by drone 50

31 drone docking station 31 for deposit of items delivered by drone hereinafter referred to as drone dock, docking station, the box, or drone box or docking box) for deposit of items delivered by drone.

32 drone docking station structure 32

32A side and side surface 32A of structure 32

32B end and end surface 32B of structure 32

32C bottom and bottom surface 32C of structure 32

33 closeable and openable hinged or movable/ motorized sliding doors 33 on the dock structure 32

33A door motor 33A

34 drone structure/ container opening 34

35 mechanism or means 35 for drone 50 to releasably engage and

disengage the structure 32

36 foam or soft padding 36

37 surface curvature 37 to slow parcel 40 acceptance into container 31

38 top surface 38 of docking structure 32 surrounding the perimeter of the opening 33

39 means for securing and mounting 39 docking station 31 at a selected location

40 parcels 40 such as food items, groceries, tools, electronics,

documents, and the like

50 drone 50

5OA drone 50A with parcel

50B drone 50B empty/without parcel

51 drone pads 51

60 other features 60 of station

61 camera system 61 internal/external to compartment of drone 50 optional receiving dimples 62 for the drone pads 51

a means of transferring 63 the contents/parcel 40 of the drone 50 to the interior of the box through the opening 34 and a mean of disengaging from the parcel 40 such as controllable arms 64;

releasable/locking ball and socket with the package 65; magnetic or electronic holding structure 66

controllable catch arms 64 or the like

releasable/locking ball and socket with the package 65 or the like magnetic or electronic holding structure 66 or the like

power source 67

solar panel 69 as a power source

one or more lighting mechanisms 69 inside the container 32

a means of preserving and securely storing 70 the delivered goods once in the box - i.e. a total secure solution for home or office drone deliveries of parcels 40

means for locking 71

A a keypad 71A for onsite access to the DroneDek

temperature control 72

barcode reader 73 - infrared or other

A barcode reader waves and signals 73A

wind block 74

other structures 75 - charging station 76

heated top 77

a motion flood light 78

mail slot 79 for regular land mail

collector panel 80 for detection of explosives or anthrax or other perceived threats

battery exchange mechanism 81 for interchangeability of drone batteries with the DroneDek

extendable/ retractable means for exchanging 82 batteries such as an extendable arm and securing latch to remove the drone battery 83, move it to the exchange mechanism 81 and move charged battery 84 back to drone 50 and re-engage the drone power connection drone battery 83

charged battery 84

discharged battery 85

parcel order mechanism 90 - personal communication devices 106 connected to the network 103

providing system 91 - order, supplier and distribution company - "good stuff company".

location and communication with docking station 31

mounting location 101 for station 31

a means of locating 102 the docking station 31 such that drone can approach and dock with it. GPS system or the like, etc.

cloud/network 103

satellites 104

signal and cell towers 105

personal communication devices 106 - such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, personal computers and the like

specific GPS address 107 for the docking station 31

local signal/ or mechanical means - frustrum or the like 108 - to facilitate final location and transfer

Signal 109 from the docking station 31

a means for communication 110 between the drone and the drone dock, either directly or through a remote server

smart phone application or the like to communicate status of the docking event with the user of the personal communication devices 106

Flight 112 from Goods source 91 to docking station 31

Flight 113 from docking station 31 back to good source or other user destination

Alternative flight 114 from original docking station to secondary docking station to "pick-up" parcel DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0025] The present invention relates to drones and delivery of parcels or goods. There are shown in FIGS. 1-11 a description of the Drone Docking Station 31 and Delivery System 30 called a DroneDek. Disclosed herein is a system and device for a drone docking station (hereinafter referred to as drone dock, the box, or drone box or docking box) for deposit of items delivered by drone. Items may include but not be limited to food items, groceries and parcels. A secure porch, roof, window or otherwise building mounted box may be secured through hardware such as that which may be due example anchored into wood, concrete or masonry and the any material used in the construction of

residential or commercial structures. The box also can be configured to mount to an existing mailbox post and actually take the place of the mailbox.

[0026] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate a preferred embodiment and examples of uses. The preferred embodiment comprises several elements and means and should include the basic elements making of components of the DroneDek box enable it to carry out one or more the following functions: a means of locating the box such that drone can approach and dock with it; a means of engaging the box such that a stable connection or attachment can be made; a means of transferring the contents of the drone to the interior of the box; a means of preserving and securely storing the delivered goods once in the box; a mean of disengaging from the box; a means of

communication between the drone and the drone dock, either directly or through a remote server; one or more functional components incorporated within the box to allow for preservation and security of the stored goods, and to prevent damage during the transfer and or subsequent storage; and a means of securing the box to a structure located at a residential or commercial address. The DroneDek in its various embodiments may further incorporate one or more of the features shown in the following paragraphs in any combination, combining to deliver a total secure solution for home or office drone deliveries.

[0027] The details mentioned here are exemplary and not limiting. Other specific components and manners specific to describing the Drone Docking Station and Delivery System 30 may be added as a person having ordinary skill in the field of drone systems including their docking, communication and operation.

[0028] FIG. 1 shows a general embodiment indicating some of the features of the invention herein. Shown is a drone

interfacing with a delivery container. In Figure 1, there is shown a drone 50; a parcel 40 being delivered by the drone 50 into the opening 34 of a delivery box/ drone docking station 32; closeable and openable hinged or movable/ motorized sliding doors 33 on the dock structure 32 that may open upon engagement of the drone 50 in this particular embodiment; one type of mechanism 35, for example, by which the drone 50 may engage the docking station 31 and communicate information, transfer energy, register magnetic engagement, or otherwise as disclosed herein this specification; a set of controllable catch arms 64 or the like; and the delivery container 32 separate features of a side and side surface 32A of structure 32, end and end surface 32B of structure 32, and bottom and bottom surface 32C of structure 32. One skilled in the art of drone systems and devices notes the figure shows one exemplary embodiment, and does not limit the text of the disclosure herein. One notes that the drone dock can be made of either an abs plastic, steel construction, composite material or other suitable material including but not limited to woods, plastics, ceramics, metals, rubber or other polymers and synthetic materials. It could be offered in different sizes to allow for high volume customers that receive multiple parcels in a given time period. One also notes that the item/parcel 40 will drop in and the lids will return to their home position and not allow for access to the inserted item except by the intended recipient. One also notes that the means 35 mechanism or means for drone 50 to releasably engage and disengage the structure 32 (structure top surface 38 and optional drone support pad receiving dimples 62) comprises a platform opening 34, top surface 38, cover 33, local signal/ mechanical 73, camera system 61 plus optional drone pads 51 receiving dimples 62. Further one notes that a typical parcel is approximately sized 2 feet by 2 feet by 12 inches - 5 pounds, however one skilled in the art appreciates that there may be no limit to size as drone carrying capacity increases. The system disclosure is not limited by any particular size delivery provided it can be carried by a drone.

[0029] Figure 2 A shows one embodiment for container design which includes a padding element and Figure 2 B shows one embodiment for container design which includes a sloped or curved interior surface to prevent parcel damage. In Figure 2 A, is shown general drone docking station structure 32 for the drone docking station 31; ends 32B of structure 32; the

curvature 37 of the interior of the container box; a top surface 38 of docking structure 32 surrounding the perimeter of the opening 33; and a foam or other padding device 36 in order to cushion the bottom 32C of the structure 32 for when parcels 40 are dropped into it by a drone 50. Figure 2 B indicates the curvature 37 of the interior of the container box 32, which may be utilized to slow parcel 40 and in order to prevent and abrupt landing of delivered items/parcels 40 when dropped into a box; the sides 32A and bottom 32C of the structure 32. In embodiments with this feature a parcel may gently slide to a halt .

[0030] Figures 3 and Figures 3 A through 3 C show the

communication and delivery system from the order of the product/ parcel 40 to the delivery to the consumer location 101 - residential or commercial. Fig. 3 shows a drone docking system 30 for deposit of items delivered by drone 50; drone docking station 31 for deposit of items delivered by drone hereinafter referred to as drone dock, docking station, the box, or drone box or docking box) for deposit of items delivered by drone; drone 50; drone 50A with parcel; drone 50B empty/without parcel; parcel order mechanism 90 - personal communication devices 106 connected to the network 103; providing system 91 - order, supplier and distribution company - "good stuff company";

location and communication 100 with docking station 31; a means of locating 102 the docking station 31 such that drone can approach and dock with it. GPS system or the like, etc.; a cloud/network 103; satellites 104; signal and cell towers 105 personal communication devices 106 - such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, personal computers and the like; a specific GPS address 107 for the docking station 31; local signal/ or mechanical means - frustrum or the like 108 - to facilitate final location and transfer; a signal 109 from the docking station 31; a means for communication 110 between the drone 50 and the drone dock 31, either directly or through a remote server; a flight 112 from Goods source 91 to docking station 31 flight 113 from docking station 31 back to good source or other user destination; an alternative flight 114 from original docking station to secondary docking station to "pick-up" parcel. Figures 3 A through 3 C show drone docking system 30 for deposit of items delivered by drone 50; parcels 40 such as food items, groceries, tools, electronics, documents, and the like; drone 50; providing system 91 - order, supplier and distribution company - "good stuff company"; a means of locating 102 the docking station 31 such that drone can approach and dock with it. GPS system or the like, etc.; and a specific GPS address 107 for the docking station 31. One notes that the mounting location 101 for station 31 is such as a secure

porch, roof, window or otherwise building structure where a mounted box may be secured through to an existing open edifice or may be configured to mount to an existing mailbox post. This must be accessible from a hovering type drone permit take offs. Likewise, the means 102 comprises the docking station 31 such that drone can approach and dock with it. GPS system or the like, etc. Docking station 31 to be located at a residential or commercial address and the drone dock may have a number of tracking functionalities. The Drone Dock with its self- contained power supply in certain embodiments can broadcast the GPS coordinates to its owner in the event it is taken from its base location and from landings into an open airspace for approach, landing, takeoff and departure.

One notes that communication between the drone 50 and the drone dock 31 may be through electronic or magnetic connection that is made upon the drone landing and connecting with the box. The communication may also be turn over a wireless network such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth satellite etc. and others that would be recognized by those skilled in the art. In alternative

embodiments a remote server may be employed whereby the drone communicates its location and docking details to the remote server, upon which the remote server pings or otherwise delivers and signal directly to the box or an associated IP address triggering it to unlock and open. The box 31 may also

communicate via RFID in order to identity itself to the drone (or vice versa) and communicate a bar code or I.D. sequence required for docking and unlocking. In similar fashion a

Bluetooth signal may be employed to communicate a code to the drone once the drone is in range of the box and its blue tooth signal. In certain embodiments the box 31 will deliver GPS guidance to the drone 50 for proper docking and delivery into box. A Two (2) stage - close and dead-on -- blue gps and frustrum 108 -- the Drone Dock 31 will then report to its owner/communication device 106 and the shipper and the shipping company 91 that the parcel 40 is securely in the docking station 31 and the owner 106 may come and retrieve it 40. The drone dock 31 may also report charging status of the drone 50 as well as takeoff status to shipper 91.

[0031] Figures 4 A through 4 E show the delivery by a drone 50 at the residential or commercial receiving location 101.

Here are shown drone docking station 31 for deposit of items delivered by drone hereinafter referred to as drone dock, docking station, the box, or drone box or docking box) for deposit of items delivered by drone; closeable and openable hinged or movable/ motorized sliding doors 33 on the dock structure 32; drone structure/ container opening 34; parcels 40 such as food items, groceries, tools, electronics, documents, and the like; drone 50; solar panel 68 as a power source; wind block 74; specific GPS address 107 for the docking station 31; and local signal/ or mechanical means - a frustrum or the like 108 - to facilitate final location and transfer. Other

structures 75 anticipate and can be employed to provide for easier and more accurate engagement of the drone with the drone dock such as extended platforms, slides, funnels, and other type structures that would enable a two phased docking approach.

Such structures 75 would first allow for contact between the drone 50 and extended drone dock structure, and facilitate a guided placement into the proper docking position. [0032] Figures 5 A through 5 C show a general embodiment indicating some of the unique features of the DroneDek 31.

Shown here are the drone docking station 31 for deposit of items delivered by drone hereinafter referred to as drone dock, docking station, the box, or drone box or docking box) for deposit of items delivered by drone; drone docking station structure 32 including a side and side surface 32A of structure 32, end and end surface 32B of structure 32, and bottom and bottom surface 32C of structure 32; a closeable and openable hinged or movable/ motorized sliding doors 33 on the dock structure 32; a door motor 33A; a drone structure/ container opening 34; a mechanism or means 35 for drone 50 to releasably engage and disengage the structure 32; a foam or soft padding 36; a top surface 38 of docking structure 32 surrounding the perimeter of the opening 33; a means for securing and mounting 39 docking station 31 at a selected location; the drone 50;

drone pads 51; a camera system 61 internal/external to

compartment of drone 50; optional receiving dimples 62 for the drone pads 51; a solar panel 68 as a power source 67;

temperature control 72; a barcode reader 73 - infrared or other; and a specific GPS address 107 for the docking station 31. The camera system 61 is anticipated as comprising a mounted security camera 61 may employ in alternative embodiments other such security devices including alarms, motion detectors, and the like. The power source maybe through connection to an

electronic outlet, onboard battery power, wind power, or powered by connections for solar panels on the station 31. The

preferred embodiment will feature a solar panel 68 that will provide the power needed by the unit for all of its

features. The unit is also available with a 110 v. power supply for easy access to standard power supplies. A means of

preserving and securely storing the delivered goods once in the box - i.e. a totally secure solution for home or office drone deliveries. This solution includes lock system 71, temperature control 72, curved access sides 37 and soft floor or bottom 36. One or more functional components incorporated within the box to allow for preservation and security of the stored goods, and to prevent damage during the transfer and or subsequent storage. The temperature control 72 - the drone dock may be temperature controlled to ensure proper storage of the delivered

goods. This may include both heating and cooling functions depending upon the season and the nature of the delivered goods. The box may additionally have separate compartments for receiving goods that specifically should be heated, cooled, or kept at room temperature range in any season.

[0033] Figures 6 A through 6 D show a general embodiment of the DroneDek 30 and indicating more of the additional features of the invention. Shown here are the drone docking station 31 for deposit of items delivered by drone hereinafter referred to as drone dock, docking station, the box, or drone box or docking box) for deposit of items delivered by drone; drone docking station structure 32 including a side and side surface 32A of structure 32, end and end surface 32B of structure 32, and bottom and bottom surface 32C of structure 32; a closeable and openable hinged or movable/ motorized sliding doors 33 on the dock structure 32; a top surface 38 of docking structure 32 surrounding the perimeter of the opening 33; a means for

securing and mounting 39 docking station 31 at a selected location; the drone 50; a camera system 61 internal/external to compartment of drone 50; a solar panel 68 as a power source; and a specific GPS address 107 for the docking station 31. The means for securing 39 comprises and anticipates that a

building mounted box may be secured through hardware such as that which may be due example anchored into wood, concrete or masonry and the any material used in the construction of residential or commercial structures. A means of securing the box to a structure located at a residential or commercial address closeable, locking box with limited access.

[0034] Figures 7 A through 7 D show a general embodiment indicating still more of the additional features of the DroneDek 30. Demonstrated here include the drone docking station 31 for deposit of items delivered by drone hereinafter referred to as drone dock, docking station, the box, or drone box or docking box) for deposit of items delivered by drone; a closeable and openable hinged or movable/ motorized sliding doors 33 on the dock structure 32; a door motor 33A; a drone structure/

container opening 34; a foam or soft padding 36; parcels 40 such as food items, groceries, tools, electronics, documents, and the like; camera system 61 internal/external to compartment of drone 50; a means of transferring 63 the contents/parcel 40 of the drone 50 to the interior of the box through the opening 34; a mean of disengaging from the parcel 40 such as controllable arms 64; releasable/locking ball and socket with the package 65; one or more lighting mechanisms 69 inside the container 32;

temperature control 72; barcode reader 73 - infrared or other; barcode reader waves and signals 73A; a wind block 74; a heated top 77 - The Drone Dock may feature a heated top to insure that the access area is always operational in cold temperatures, and prevent the collection of snow or ice that may inhibit its function; and a specific GPS address 107 for the docking station 31.

[0035] Figures 8 A through 8 C show an embodiment indicating features of the DroneDek 30,31. Here are shown several views and optional elements. The DroneDek system 30 can comprise drone docking station structure 32 including a side and side surface 32A of structure 32, end and end surface 32B of structure 32; a top surface 38 of docking structure 32 surrounding the perimeter of the opening 33; an optional

receiving dimples 62 for the drone pads 51; one or more lighting mechanisms 69 inside the container 32; means for locking 71 a keypad 71A for onsite access to the DroneDek; temperature control 72; a motion flood light 78; mail slot 79 for regular land mail; and a collector panel 80 for detection of explosives or anthrax or other perceived threats. The means for locking 71 comprising one or more devices connected to the container enabling a recipient of the delivered goods to unlock the container through an entered code, a key, or through unlocking via a mobile electronic device software application.

[0036] Figures 9 A and 9 B show a general embodiment

indicating some of the communication features of the DroneDek system 30. Here are shown the personal communication devices 106 - such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, personal computers and the like and the smart phone application 111 or the like to communicate status of the docking event with the user of the personal communication devices 106.

[0037] Figures 10 A and 10 B show added options for a

DroneDek system 30. Here the various elements shown are:

parcels 40 such as food items, groceries, tools, electronics, documents, and the like; a drone 50; drone pads 51; receiving dimples 62; and a charging station 76. Figure IOC demonstrates a battery exchange mechanism 81 with an extendable/ retractable means for exchanging 82 batteries such as an extendable arm and securing latch to remove the drone battery 83, move it to the exchange mechanism 81 and move charged battery 84 back to drone 50 and re-engage the drone power connection. Also shown are the drone battery 83, charged battery 84, and discharged battery 85. This feature permits battery pack interchangeability . The premise is that all or some dronedeks will have a "ready-to-go" fully charged battery pack that a commercial drone or other may identify from the virtual grid. Said drone may be directed to a DroneDek whereby the Dronedek will facilitate with the swap of the drones dead battery to the fully charged battery available from the dronedek. Battery life is a huge consideration and a huge impediment on the commercial drone market. Access to such a fully charged battery in so many assorted locations throughout the infrastructure of the country is a huge advantage and creates commercial market place value for the interchangeability option. Drones may have and use fully charged batteries. This exchange program would be available to all commercial drones through a subscription service program.

[0038] Figures 11 A through 11 C show a general embodiment indicating some of the pick-up mechanisms of the DroneDek 30. Here are shown examples and not limitations to engage parcels 40 by the drone for deposit in the DroneDek 31. Shown are a means of transferring 63 the contents/parcel 40 of the drone 50 to the interior of the box through the opening 34 and a means of disengaging from the parcel 40 such as controllable arms 64; releasable/locking ball and socket with the package 65; magnetic or electronic holding structure 66 or the like.

[0039] The details mentioned here are exemplary and not limiting. Other specific components and manners specific to describing a Drone Docking Station and Delivery System 31 may be added as a person having ordinary skill in the field of drone systems and platform devices and their uses well appreciates.

OPERATION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

[0040] The Drone Docking Station and Delivery System 30 and have been described in the above embodiment. The manner of how these devices operate is described below. One notes well that the description above and the operation described here must be taken together to fully illustrate the concept of the Drone Docking Station and Delivery System 30.

[0041] A secure code that drone accesses to direct the dock to open its top to allow for safe delivery into the box may be employed. In lieu of code drone may trigger opening of drone dock by simply accessing its landing base. Communication between the drone and the drone dock may be through electronic or magnetic connection that is made upon the drone landing and connecting with the box. The communication may be directly between the docking or delivery box and the drone itself upon docking in order to facilitate the transmission of a code in a lock box. In alternative embodiments a remote server may be employed whereby the drone communicates its location and docking details to the remote server, upon which the remote server pings or otherwise delivers and signal directly to the box or an associated IP address triggering it to unlock and open. The box may also communicate via RFID in order to identity itself to the drone (or vice versa) and communicate a bar code or I.D.

sequence required for docking and unlocking. In similar fashion a Bluetooth signal may be employed to communicate a code to the drone once the drone is in range of the box and its blue tooth signal. In certain embodiments the box will deliver GPS guidance to the drone for proper docking and delivery into box. Upon successful deposit in the dock, the top will close securely assuring that entry into the dock by vandals, thieves or animals is prohibited. Retrigger to close may be accomplished in similar fashion to the signal to open either by direct

communication between the drawing and the box or through a remote server. The box may also be designed to automatically close and lock once the drone un-docks from the box. And the communication may also be turn over a wireless network such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth satellite etc. and others that would be recognized by those skilled in the art. The communication may be directly between the docking or delivery box and the drone itself upon docking in order to facilitate the transmission of a code in a lock box. In alternative embodiments a remote server may be employed whereby the drone communicates its location and docking details to the remote server, upon which the remote server pings or otherwise delivers and signal directly to the box or an associated IP address triggering it to unlock and open. The box may also communicate via RFID in order to

identity itself to the drone (or vice versa) and communicate a bar code or I.D. sequence required for docking and

unlocking. In similar fashion a Bluetooth signal may be

employed to communicate a code to the drone once the drone is in range of the box and its blue tooth signal. In certain

embodiments the box will deliver GPS guidance to the drone for proper docking and delivery into box. Upon successful deposit in the dock, the top will close securely assuring that entry into the dock by vandals, thieves or animals is

prohibited. Retrigger to close may be accomplished in similar fashion to the signal to open either by direct communication between the drawing and the box or through a remote server. The box may also be designed to automatically close and lock once the drone un-docks from the box.

[0042] The box design may allow a drop of the item into its pressure sensitive lids. The item will drop in and the lids will return to their home position and not allow for access to the inserted item except by the intended recipient . The Drone Dock will then report to its owner and the shipper and the shipping company that the item is securely in the dock and come and retrieve it. The drone dock may also report charging status as well as takeoff status to shipper. [0043] The objects, advantages and benefits include, but are not limited to:

Objects : 1. To provide for communication between the drone dock and a drone, and 2. To provide security, and preservation of the delivered goods before during and after delivery

[0044] Advantages and benefits include:

Security Has a secure opening and closing door feature that

allows the drone to communicate with the station and open and close its cargo doors to receive and ship its contents .

Weather Protects packages from rain, wind, sleet, hail and Proof snow, and also harsh temperatures. A heated cargo door option allows for access during the iciest of weather.

GPS Location Allows through a GPS beacon for the shipping drone to Enabled hone in on the DroneDek's precise location.

Charging Features a built-in charging station that is capable Station of re-energizing the drone, effectively doubling drone delivery range.

Solar Is powered by a solar panel and/or 110-volt electrical Powered power supply, allowing for operation of its high level features .

Drop Off and Is a secure receptacle designed to hold parcels that Pick Up are received or that are waiting to be shipped.

Flexible Has a secure mounting infrastructure for iron-clad installation installation to a structure, post, or concrete flat work .

Connectivity Allows the user to easily stay connected to his/her package. Dronedek features a contents-sensing switch that via its app, can communicate successful receipt and shipping of parcels to shipper, recipient, and/or shipping company. A user can even see the package via

DroneDek's built-in camera.

Remote Features a secure mobile application allowing for Access remote camera access and the ability to lock and

unlock your DroneDek via ones phone or tablet. The owner of the box may retrieve the contents easily through a simple code entered, key or cell phone app .

[0045] The phrase "in one embodiment" is used repeatedly. The phrase generally does not refer to the same embodiment; however, it may. The terms "comprising," "having" and "including" are synonymous, unless the context dictates otherwise. The following illustrations of various embodiments use particular terms by way of example to describe the various embodiments, but this should be construed to encompass and provide for terms such as "method" and "routine" and the like.

[0046] Various aspects of the illustrative embodiments will be described using terms commonly employed by those skilled in the art to convey the substance of their work to others skilled in the art. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the embodiments described herein may be practiced with only some of the described aspects. For purposes of explanation, specific numbers, materials and configurations are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the illustrative embodiments. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the embodiments described herein may be practiced

without the specific details. In other instances, well-known features are omitted or simplified in order not to obscure the illustrative embodiments.

[0047] The characteristics and utilities of the present

invention described in this summary and the detailed description below are not all inclusive. Many additional features and advantages will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art given the following description. There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated.

[0048] In this respect, by explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the description. The invention is capable of other

embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0049] As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the

description be regarded as including such equivalent

constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.




 
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