3D Robotics


Amazing product from H3 Dynamics in Singapore. We've always dreamed of drones that could be deployed like sprinkler systems -- place and forget, and they just do their job, sending data to the cloud. Looks like we're almost there. 

From Gizmag:

The proliferation of drones for a multitude of tasks has led to improved autonomy, and reduced the level of human intervention. On the flip side, however, people are still needed to physically wrangle drones to a site whenever they are required, and much time and expense is spent deploying them. To help reduce this burden, the new Dronebox nesting platform has been created to provide 24/7 autonomous capabilities to drones. It provides an automated recharging and storage station that can be left on site so a dedicated Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) can be deployed on-call or routinely for many months at a time.

Touted by the makers as an all-inclusive, self-powered system that can be deployed anywhere, the Dronebox designed as a UAV solution to follow on from the likes of remote monitors and camera systems used today. As such, the creators envisage the replacement of these fixed monitoring methods with deploy-on-demand or programmed-cycle UAVs to provide a more flexible and intuitive way to keep an eye on things.

With batteries automatically charged within its shelter system using solar panels, the Dronebox can also be upgraded using a product known as Remobox to provide a small back-up fuel cell system to extend remote deployment for a year or more. The Remobox also provides add-on communications features and environmental monitoring to ensure a nested drone is operating in optimal conditions.

Dronebox also provides the ability to link drones and Droneboxes in a similar fashion to the Internet of Things (IoT), where varied and disparate devices are interconnected to collect and exchange data. In this way, arrays of wirelessly linked Droneboxes and their associated UAVs operate through a central hub, where all of their sensors are channeled through a unified analytics system to create what the makers call a "sensor fabric" that provides real-time, overall situational awareness of everything under surveillance.

As a connected network, Dronebox's effectiveness using collaborative technologies means that a UAV nested and deployed automatically could also offer a line of first response in forest fires, chemical spills, earthquakes, and other disasters before humans arrive. With multiple sets of drones monitoring all aspects of a catastrophe via the previously mentioned sensor fabric, the situation could be assessed and actions planned and resourced well ahead of any response, thereby saving what could amount to many critical hours of time on the ground for rescue teams, firefighters, and disaster recovery personnel.


The creators of Dronebox also believe that mobile sensors hosted in networked Droneboxes could help transform border and perimeter security, wildlife protection, critical infrastructure maintenance, telecommunications tower and wind turbine maintenance, oil and gas asset inspection, and precision agriculture.

On display for the first time at the Singapore Air Show this month, Droneboxes, Remoboxes, and their supporting technologies are slated for launch in the commercial marketplace some time within the next six months.

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  • @Patrice

    GPS L1+L2 Standalone or RTK is there already: http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/low-cost-l1-l2-gnss-rtk-receive...

    Accuracy is within 1cm 3D real time.

    I agree on the charge time though, the concept is quite interesting and it deserves an evaluation to be very practical. If I would design it, I'll change the landing pad to metal and put the changing poles on the legs, so it would have direct VDC contact.

    Also, I would put the whole thing on a hard to reach place... "Things left alone have wings" Well, propellers, but that's the idea ;)

  • "are you get paid to market Dronebox and troll this thread with your marketing ideas ?"

    Yes. You got me! Lol.

    Anyway, I'm done with you. Your all over the map. Back to the topic...

    For me the most compelling use of a drone box like this is for monitoring wildlife and the environment, whether that's monitoring glacier retreat in Alaska, or wildlife in Africa. It's really just an extension to what researchers do now when they leave remote time lapse or motion activated cameras.

    The biggest technical impediment to this is more on the drone side than on the box side. Drones just aren't reliable enough to leave unattended for months (much less years). That being said, this Dronebox "product" seems like more of a prototype than something ready for market. It's still exciting to see people are out there moving the ball forward.
  • Darius is quite right!

    Precision landing can be achieved with optical flow sensors... Parrot already use that and APM support that I believe since quite some time... But, GPS precision is not there YET, but coming real quick with new glonass and others gps network

    there is still something weird, the craft still need to wait for gps fix to takeoff... so, a waiting time on the box... where somthing can happen... or this is set by the box to the craft when powering on!!! the craft will probably stay on all the time... well...

    let say landing is not a an issue, since, well, technology is not that far, gps pos plus optical flow... there you go

    Still, charging will take days, if there is no... contact, induction charging is not fast, so, it's not like the craft will be able to fly each day... And what about lipo life time, when not use, lipos should be put on storage... usually, 

    no, nice marketting stuff, but, they are not there yet...

  • One possible application would be on the Southern border of the US.

    A seismic sensor could trigger deployment of a camera drone to distinguish between wildlife and human activity.

    A few hundred autonomous Droneboxes would be quite a force multiplier for monitoring.

    Being solar powered and portable would enable them to be relocated frequently to avoid detection and vandalism.

    Darius:  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autonomous

  • @Erik,

    are you get paid to market Dronebox and troll this thread with your marketing ideas ?

    You are right, public administration can buy any product like Box for a Drone since public money spent is not my private money spent.

    Since DIYDrones stays for Do It Yourself Drones I support Do It Yourself

    Box for a Drone Project and can offer $100 DroneToolBox (ligtweight, foldable, upgradable).

    Drone is not a pet so once you open your Box, don't expect your drone to go into back.

    Since there is no technology in support of the drone precision landing yet, operator is still required to put a drone into Box after landing.

    You can claim whatsoever you like but life is for real.

    1. Solar panels don't match power consumption due to size and being not directed to the sun to offer highest energy conversion efficiency.

    2. Dronebox cover is not fit to serve as a landing platform due to its size and height above the ground. If your drone misses to target landing mark it can crash easily, loosing propellers, airframe arms, camera, gimbal and more.

    My offer:

    Build flat landing platform placed on the ground level, made of solar panels

    and remove the Box from the place you plan your drone to land since any Box acts as an 3D obstacle.

    If your drone is insured you should ensure safe landing place, platform, free from 3D obstacles.

    I am sure CEO at H3Dynamics, developer of DroneBox can fully support my opinion.

    DIY $100 Plastic BoxDrone is an excellent idea, I fully support.

  • @Darius,

    I refuse to believe that anyone is so singularly devoid of imagination that they can't envision a use case beyond air shows (really?). You are either a troll who is being deliberatly obtuse, or some kind of stubborn old curmudgeon who is just never going to "get it." Either way, all you've done is managed to hijack this thread with a laughably absurd objection. I for one won't be interacting with you anymore. Don't feed the trolls.
  • @Mario,

    Mobile control station is not supported by RTK GPS, so placing RTK GPS within the dronebox makes no sense.

    Plastic Dronebox concept is generally fine but the drone should belt fastened inside

    or some landing gear mounting mechanism should be provided.

    The idea of solar panels is ok but performance is poor, size of solar panels doesn't fit

    power demand.

    Since solar charging is slow Dronebox should serve as DroneToolBox accomodating spare parts, tools, spare batteries and more.

    Since precision landing is neither supported not offered by mission planner and other apps, dronebox cannot be used as landing platform.

    For use as a take off platform size of the dronebox cover is too small.

    I can design and asssemble $100 Plastic DroneBox (lightweight and easy to handle and foldable).

    RTK GPS ground control offset signal should be provided by geodesy grade public broadcasters (radio, 3G, 4G, Wifi ....).

    I don't need a fleet of huge Droneboxes.

    I don't buy the concept of Droneboxes left unattended at random places, overnight or for weeks.

    It doesn't make sense to leave $Ts equipment unattended at public place.

  • Moderator
    Infestation*.....and data interpretation later. Apparently I can't edit on the phone.
  • Moderator
    And just to highlight one demand for true autonomy-
    NDVI (without addressing the controversy within) is advertised as being a way to detect early crop stress, ingestion, whatever.
    How frequently is a grower going to pay an operator to go out and fly the same field on the off chance that they catch something early enough to take action? What is the price of each flight?

    Now what happens when the data acquisition becomes accurate enough to automate that process on the software side, and the acquisition side is already full automated?
  • Moderator
    No, what you needed is an RTK base station in a box with some form of charging, data transfer, protection from the elements, and a way to integrate future systems. You need a hands-off hub. This video is only trying to visualize a not-uncommon concept. The solar panels are quite possibly the most unimportant part of this whole video.

    The "battles" you choose to fight are rarely on point.
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