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Title:
RADIO-CONTROLLED MODEL PROGRAMMING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/194443
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Video transmitter for wirelessly transmitting video signals, the video transmitter comprising a controller and an NFC tag with an antenna for near field communication, a storage memory for storing data and a data interface for transmitting data stored in the storage memory to the controller. Video receiver for wirelessly receiving video signals, comprising a controller and an NFC tag with an antenna for near field communication, a storage memory for storing data and a data interface for transmitting data stored in the storage memory to the controller. System comprising such a video transmitter and a NFC reader/writer, and optionally a corresponding video receiver. Method for programming a video transmitter and/or a video receiver of the invention, comprising the steps of storing data in the storage memory of the NFC tag while the video transmitter and/or receiver is powered down,powering up the video transmitter and/or receiver, and the controller automatically setting a video transmission and/or reception channel using data stored in the storage memory.

Inventors:
CAKE, Anthony (14 route de Sodome, 1271 Givrins, 1271, CH)
OEFFNER, Yann (10 Chemin de Couchant, 1274 Signy, 1274, CH)
Application Number:
EP2017/060871
Publication Date:
November 16, 2017
Filing Date:
May 08, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LÉMANTECH LABS SÀRL (box 49, Chemin du Vernay 72, 1196 Gland, 1196, CH)
International Classes:
H04N7/18; B64C39/02; G06K19/07; H04B5/00; H04W4/00; H04W76/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016009762A12016-01-21
Foreign References:
EP2541863A22013-01-02
US20090111378A12009-04-30
US20160050517A12016-02-18
Other References:
TEXAS INSTRUMENT: "RF430CL330H Target Board User's Guide", 1 May 2014 (2014-05-01), XP002771381, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20170626]
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KATZAROV SA (19 rue des Epinettes, 1227 Genève, 1227, CH)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A video transmitter for wirelessly transmitting video signals, comprising a controller;

an NFC tag comprising

- an antenna for near field communication,

- a storage memory for storing data and

- a data interface for transmitting to said controller data stored in said storage memory.

2. The video transmitter of claim 1 , wherein said controller is configured to use data stored in said storage memory for setting a video transmission channel used by said video transmitter for transmitting video signals.

3. A video receiver for wirelessly receiving video signals, comprising

a controller;

an NFC tag comprising

- an antenna for near field communication,

- a storage memory for storing data and

- a data interface for transmitting to said controller data stored in said storage memory.

4. The video receiver of claim 3, wherein said controller is configured to use data stored in said storage memory for setting a video reception channel used by said video receiver for receiving video signals.

5. A system comprising the video transmitter of claim 1 and an NFC reader/writer.

6. The system of claim 5, further comprising the video receiver of claim 3. 7. A method for programming the video transmitter of claim 1 , comprising the steps of:

- storing data in said storage memory of said NFC tag while said video transmitter is powered down;

- powering up said video transmitter;

- automatically setting a video transmission channel by said controller using data stored in said storage memory.

8. A method for programming the video receiver of claim 3, comprising the steps of:

- storing data in said storage memory of said NFC tag while said video receiver is powered down;

- powering up said video receiver;

- automatically setting a video reception channel by said controller using data stored in said storage memory.

Description:
Radio-controlled Model Programming

The present inventbn relates to a system and a method for programming a radio- controlled model. The present inventbn relates in particular to a system and a method for programming parameters of a radio-controlled model, including for example setting a channel for wireless video transmissbn, while the radio-controlled model is powered down .

First Person View Flying is a phrase used to describe piloting a radio-controlled model, equipped with a camera, while using a ground-based viewing device to guide the pilot. For many, the closest thing to flying, without the pilot leaving the ground.

For the past decade model hobbyists have been attaching cameras and wireless downlinks for a live transmissbn of the video signal from the camera, to models of all types, for example most recently to quadcopters. These wireless downlinks generally operate on the license- free ISM bands, and use an analog video transmissbn technology.

According to this technology, the available bands are split into channels.

Some frequency allocation conventions for example split he 5.8 GHz band into seven channels. Each channel is for example approximately 20 MHz wide, and must be spaced sufficiently from its neighboring channels to avoid interference. Other channel definitions are also used, for example with 37 MHz spacing between neighboring channels.

A limitation of such analog video transmissbn convention is that only one transmission is possible in each channel at a time. To take a simple case, Model Flyer A is flying his model at his local park, using an analog video transmission on channel 1 , 5740 MHz. Asecond model flyer,

Model Flyer B, arrives at the park and powers on his equipment, configured by chance on the same channel. This creates a dangerous situation where Model Flyer A is now blind and loses the downlinked camera image because the equipment of Model Flyer B, by emitting on the same channel, disrupts the video transmission from the model of Model Flyer A. First Person View (FPV) racing takes the problem to another level, where in some cases more than one hundred pilots, all with the same type of equipment, are at the same event to race typically up to eight at a time. While a race is taking place, and the pilots are in the air, any accidental power-up of a competitor's video transmitter will cause a potentially dangerous crash, and affect the race results. It is therefore essential to correctly set the video transmission channel of each equipment in order to avoid interference between models. Current generation of video transmitters use one of two techniques to set the channel that will be used for video transmission.

- DIP Switch: a set of small switches are located on the video transmitter and need to be set into a certain pattern, each pattern corresponding to one of the supported video transmission channels.

An advantage of this method is that the channel is set while the model, and therefore the video transmitter, is powered down, with no chance of interfering with flying models. Patterns are however not obvbus. The risk of setting the sip switch in a wrong pattern and powering up the video transmitter in the wrong channel is thus relatively high .

- Button: a small button on the video transmitter cycles between supported channels.

This may however only be performed while the model is powered on, and causes the video transmitter to walk between channels, affecting any modeller using these channels.

Neither of these techniques are ideal, and they both have been a constant source of problems for the FPV community since the early days.

An aim of the present invention is thus to provide a reliable and easy system and method for setting the video transmission channel on a model.

Another aim of the present inventbn is to provide a system and a method for setting the video transmission channel on a model without any risk of interfering with other video transmission fluxes while doing so.

These aims and other advantages are achieved with a system, i.e. with a video transmitter and/or with a receiver, according to the corresponding independent claim.

These aims and other advantages are also achieved with a method according to the corresponding independent claim. These aims and other advantages are achieved in particular with a video transmitter for wirelessly transmitting video signals, the video transmitter comprising a controller and an NFC tag with an antenna for near field communication, a storage memory for storing data and a data interface for transmitting data stored in the storage memory to the controller. In embodiments, the controller is configured to use data stored in the storage memory for setting a video transmission channel used by the video transmitter for transmitting video signals. These aims and other advantages are also achieved in particular with a video receiver for wirelessly receiving video signals, comprising a controller and an NFC tag with an antenna for near field communication, a storage memory for storing data and a data interface for transmitting data stored in the storage memory to the controller. In embodiments, the controller is configured to use data stored in the storage memory for setting a video reception channel used by the video receiver for receiving video signals.

These aims and other advantages are also achieved in particular with a system comprising such a video transmitter and a NFC reader/writer. In embodiments, the system further comprises a video receiver as described above. These aims and other advantages are also achieved in particular with a method for programming a video transmitter of the inventbn comprising the steps of storing data in the storage memory of the NFC tag while the video transmitter is powered down, powering up the video transmitter, and the controller automatically setting a video transmission channel using data stored in the storage memory. These aims and other advantages are also achieved in particular with a method for programming a video receiver of the invention comprising the steps of storing data in the storage memory of the NFC tag while the video receiver is powered down, powering up the video receiver, and the controller automatically setting a video reception channel using data stored in the storage memory. According to the system of the invention, the video transmitter and optionally the video receiver may be securely and reliably programmed to transmit and/or receive on a particular channel while the video transmitter and or receiver are still powered down, thereby avoiding any interference when the devices are powered up. The use of an NFC reader/writer for programming the devices provides reliability to the system as the NFC reader/writer may be equipped with appropriate interfaces for easily choosing the correct channel without any risk of confusion.

The invention will be better understood by reading the description below illustrated by the figures, where

Fig. 1 illustrates a NFC Tag according to the embodiments of the present invention;

Fig. 2 illustrates a stand-alone NFC reader/writer according to embodiments of the present invention. The system for setting the video transmission channel of a model according to embodiments of the invention is a Near Field Communication (NFC) based system. The system of the invention comprises a video transmitter installed on the model. With reference to figure 1 , the video transmitter comprises an NFC tag 1 , which comprises an antenna 2 and a programmable storage memory 3 coupled to the antenna 2, wherein the storage memory 3 may be

electromagnetically powered and or programed over the antenna 2. The NFC tag 1 further comprises an interface 3 to connect it directly or indirectly to a controller of the video transmitter (not represented), which is in turn installed on the radio-controlled model. When the video transmitter is powered up, the controller can power up the NFC tag 1 and/or access data stored in the NFC tag's memory storage 3. The memory storage 3 can thus be read and/or written electromagnetically through the antenna 2 at any time including when the video transmitter is powered down, and it can be read and/or written through the interface 3 when the video transmitter is powered up.

The system further comprises an NFC reader/writer for wirelessly communicating with the NFC tag 1 of the video transmitter and for wirelessly programming the memory storage over the antenna 2.

In embodiments, the NFC reader/writer is integrated, for example in a video receiver configured for receiving video from the video transmitter. In other embodiments, the NFC reader/writer is a stand-alone device 5 as illustrated by way of example in figure 2. The NFC writer/reader of the invention comprises an antenna 6 for wirelessly transmitting signals to the antenna of the NFC tag. In embodiments, the NFC writer/reader 5 further comprises some memory, and possibly a controller and a power source, which are not visible on the figure, wherein the memory allows storing data, for example parameters, to be transmitted over the antenna 6, the controller allows controlling and/or preparing the data transmission, and the power source allows powering the NFC reader/writer 5 for it to be operational. A single NFC reader/writer 5 of the invention may for example be used for successively programming the NFC tag of several video transmitters, for example before a race, where the race organizer, for example, may use a single NFC reader/writer to successively program several video transmitters for each transmitting video signals over a different channel.

Using the system of the invention, parameters corresponding for example to the video transmitter's frequency, power level, and behaviour are for example stored in the storage memory 3 of the video transmitter. These parameters are then accessed by the controller of the video transmitter upon power up and used to program the video transmitter. In embodiments, the video receiver configured for receiving the video signal transmitted by the video transmitter also comprises a NFC tag similar to the NFC tag 1 of the video transmitter. According to these embodiments, the video reception of the video receiver can be programmed while the video receiver is powered down, for example with the same NFC reader/writer 5 as the one used for programming the NFC tag 1 of the video transmitter. The parameters stored in the storage memory of the NFC tag of the video receiver are for example the same as or similar to the parameters stored in the storage memory 3 of the NFC tag 1 of the video transmitter. A controller of the video receiver then accesses the parameters stored in the storage memory of the NFC tag of the video receiver for programming setting the parameters of the video receiver upon power up, including for example the video reception channel.

Scenario 1 : Occasional Use

In this scenario, Model Flyer B arrives at the park, and first powers up his video receiver, for example an LCD headset, comprising an NFC reader/writer according to the inventbn. He may see other pilots flying and can switch manually or automatically the video receiver to a free channel. Once he has found a free channel, he connects his receiver to the video transmitter of the inventbn located on his model by bringing them into close proximity. The NFC reader/writer then wirelessly transmits infomnatbn to the NFC tag of the video transmitter, which will be stored in the storage memory. The information typically comprises parameters for programming the video transmitter to use the free channel for transmitting video signals. In embodiments, at least part of this information is for example automatically provided to the NFC reader/writer through the controller of the video receiver once the free channel has been found. During the transmission of the information to the NFC tag of the video transmitter, only the NFC tag is accessed: the video transmitter is not powered and therefore not interfering with other pilots' transmission.

When Model Flyer B's model is now powered up, the video transmitter accesses the parameters stored in the storage memory and thus immediately uses the free channel, thereby avoiding a potentially dangerous interference situation.

Scenario 2: Race Use

In this scenario, a large number of pilots arrive at an organized race event. The race organizer, upon pilot arrival or registration, uses an NFC stand-alone readerAMiterof the inventbn to place all arriving models, in particular their video transmitter, for example in a 'Race Mode'. In this mode, the model may be powered up, and will either not transmit a video signal at all, or optionally may transmit an extremely low power level on a channel that the race organizer designates. Optionally, the race organizer may use the same NFC stand-alone reader/writer to place the video receivers in a corresponding mode, in which they can receive signals only on the channel set on the corresponding video transmitter in 'Race Mode'.

All models at the race event are now safe, and cannot disrupt the race, if powered up unintentionally, or even intentionally.

As each race heat commences, the race marshal uses a stand-alone NFC reader/writer of the invention to place each of the models' video transmitter and/or video receiver on the starting grid on the correct channel for the race, powers them up, and the race can start.

As soon as the heat is over, the models land, power is removed, and the video transmitters and or the video receivers for example re-enter race mode, where a subsequent power-up will result in no transmission and or reception on a channel used by racing models.

Race organizers may however choose different behaviours within the frame of the invention, for example if the type of race requires it, for example for a relay race or a race where batteries are changed and the race continues. When leaving the race event, passing for example again by the pilot registration area, the models, i.e. the video transmitters and/or the video receivers, may for example be placed back in normal use mode, and removed from race mode.

In embodiments, a racer may remove his video transmitter and or his video receiver from race mode if he leaves an event without first having his video transmitter and or his video receiver ^programmed.

In embodiments, the storage memory of the NFC tag may also be used to store other information required for example at race events. Additional information comprises for example a pilot's nickname pseudo and/or a unique serial number that identifies that pilot at races, etc.

Currently, different SKUs are needed for video transmission products shipped to different regions. Equipment sent to the UK for example needs to comply with CE license-free regulations, which limits power levels to 25 mW. Different regions also have different minimum and maximum frequencies that may be used license-free, which can also be programmed via NFC with the system of the invention. Adding the NFC tag of the inventbn to these products allows a manufacturer to program video transmitters and or receivers according to regional regulations after they are packaged, and ready to ship, using an NFC reader/writer according to the invention. The invention was described above in the case of analog video transmission. The system of the invention is however also applicable to digital video transmitters and or receivers.