VTOL unmaned mobile battery swapper

A DIY DRONES inspired project

           The project officialy start after my first 8 months with DIY DRONES.         

            The chalenge is to design a integrated mechanic, electronic and communication system

           The project development axes are:

                                    1- VTOL on board Battery Swapper System


                        2- Landing Deck  Battery Swapper system


                        3- UGV deck mobility system Rover/Crawler

                                    I will soon start publishing pictures of the work done at this point of time


                                                                                                                                Bernard Michaud



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  • Did this project reach any results? I am very interested in this and would live to help.

  • Bernard,

    This project is very interesting. Would you happen to have any updates about it?

  • This looks like it could be a very interesting. If it gets from concept to testing, I'd love to see it in person! And you're only about an hour drive from chez nous ;)
  • Jonathan and Adam,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Adam, you are wright, we are going with a dual battery system, with loading bay.

    I'am completing the concept presentation and the list off identified issues .

    Can't with to publish    ...........  need feedbacks.


    Interesting indeed, probably repeating your original thoughts but il throw some intial ideas in.

    Induction charging lends itself well due to the non contact energy transfer. But there are some cons to the pros to also consider. Induction itself tends to be full of losses making efficiency poor, the bi-product of heat being one factor to contend with. Although I read recent improvement's utilizing ultra thin coils, higher frequencies and optimized drive electronics vastly improve efficiency reduced heat etc. I had a very quick surf and found this as a another current example www.vidis.com Induction Flyer I'm thinking this tech as it is today currently would be limited by charging current as you probably cant apply much load over the induction coupling, unless multiple devices and larger surface areas are used. Maybe the automotive industry alternatives would be worth a look, but size and weight is probably going to suck.

    I'm thinking some kind of dual battery loading bay. Probably using high strength magnets/Velcro to initially grab the battery and also align the electrical contacts (don't see Velcro doing this without a guide though), before engaging a locking mech. Hopefully the locking system can also be combined to be an eject system overcoming the magnets/Velcro to discharge the batt. A obvious dual batt system pro would be the continuous power during the swap but also offers dual power redundancy - initial cons being the usual foes, space and weight. Not forgetting "twice as much to go wrong" and COG. Possible magazine style dispatching of charged batteries from under a landing pad/runway/road section would also be possible.

    Alternatively with batteries max charging currents increasing and effectivly lowering charge times, some kind of electromagnetic direct coupler on a long cable is becomming more of an option. It would be connected at one end to a charger and the other end could be picked up from a landing pad/bumper contact, or dangled from behind a "refueling" aircraft - Would be sooo cool - Probably again requiring a dual batt system with a basic management system.

    Can see it now, folk at the airfield flying massive airbuses loaded with cells and a trail of aircraft behind waiting to fill up...  the charging pad airspace as clear as a mosquito swarm hahaha what have you started... :) Good luck with this interesting project!

  • Like AR Projects says, inductive charging is much easier and much more reliable.  

    See this instructable using a 30$ Palm touchstone charging kit:



    Just install the coil under your helicopter, set the gps points and have it hover 1-2cm over it!

  • I am listing what I have identify as issues and I'm drawing some sketchs about the complete process. Will publish soon.

    That should help to understand the direction Swapper project is taking.


  • inductive wireless charging !
  • Interesting project ! So newer battery has high charge rate (10C nanotech, I don't know if it really work or explose so ... :D), is that really necessary to swap ? Something like landing station for quadcopter with electrical connection to charge could be really interesting.
  • Jack,

    Not exacly the holy grail but, let's give it a try.


    Did anybody tryed anything like this before?

    Thanks for the comments

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