How about a auto recharge landing platform for copters?

so i been toying with this idea

buck charge controller board in the quad

simple contacts on landing gear to make contact with the platform

landing pad with contacts

maybe 19V supply (notebook ac adapter)


absolute position might be a problem, this might work but would add a lot of complexity




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  • My Roomba cleaner does a good job of self docking based on, I assume, an IR beacon. The Roomba would have two receivers slightly apart. As it "locks" onto a dock, it drives towards it in a zig-zag as the beam tightens into a point (the LED).

    You could do something like this? Have a series of LEDs pointing up at an angle making an upside-down cone with a centre LED as the bull's eye.

    Not sure on how accurate you can make a landing though - I'm still a noob...


    If you used each leg of the landing gear as a contact, you could have a rather large patch for it to land on and still work.

  • Hi ctech

    I'm looking for people to help with the auto recharge landing platform as part of the Pigeon Post project ( for more info).  What the system needs is a platform which copters of all types and sizes can land on but still make contacts with the level of charge they need.

    If the platforms have concentric rings for contacts the orientation of the copter wouldn't be an issue, just the position.  Like someone else said a cone shape would help.  Maybe the platform could have a single lazer pointing up from the centre that a copter could simply follow down?   Maybe the copter could use an IR camera to see a distinctive arrangement of LEDs on the platform?  Pigeon Post copters will/may have an RFID reader built in so if each charger has a powered RFID the copter can home in on the strengthening signal from up to 10 metres away.

    Any other suggestions?  Am i missing something really obvious?


    (I was thinking of a 12V system so copters can land on car roofs to hitch a ride back up wind and charge up at the same time.  Car/van top chargers could also be used in disaster areas where mains power is not available.  The Pigeon post copter can get medical supplies into difficult areas hopping between car tops, even if the cars can't get through them selves.)

  • For positionning there is maybe a mecanic solution. if you use a cone adapter to drive the landing (like fuel recharge system on planes).

    There is also RTK to enhanced GPS precision :

  • How about induction? It would take longer to charge but I've seen wireless chargers on computer mice. why not a quadrocopter?

  • Moderator

    And of course the guys at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zürich in Switzerland have just what you describe already... see their videos, just search here for the ETH videos. The landing pads show up in a few of them briefly.

  • Moderator

    There are a number of people here with ideas or plans; but if you jump on it soon, you can maybe show off yours first :)

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