SmartChutes: Drone Parachute Recovery System
SmartChutes: Drone Parachute Recovery System
SmartChutes is an autonomous parachute recovery system for your quadcopter or drone.
SmartChutes is an autonomous parachute recovery system for your quadcopter or drone. Read more
About this project
SmartChutes is an intelligent parachute system that has been designed specifically for the multicopter platform (patent pending). The SmartShoot system contains an integrated gyroscope and accelerometer that is able to determine when the multicopter has experienced an in-flight emergency.
(The SmartChute's flight sensor classifies free fall, tumbles, or flips as an in-flight emergency.)
When an emergency is detected, the SmartChutes system will launch a large 36" parachute automatically, with no input required from the pilot.
The SmartChutes system comes with its very own lightweight battery, ensuring that the SmartChute system will operate even under total power loss of the multicopter.
PLEASE NOTE: The final SmartChutes parachute deployment canister that you will receive will be much smaller and lighter than the prototype pictured. The final parachute deployment canister will have a length of 4.25" a diameter of 1.5" and be made of carbon fiber. It will be 30% smaller than the prototype pictured. For a preview of what the final product will look like, see the pictures under Final Design Preview below. The SmartChutes system will not interfere with normal camera or gimbal placement.
In conventional solutions, where a user must manually press a button or flip a switch to deploy a parachute, the deployment of a parachute is entirely dependent on the user's ability of recognizing an emergency and deploying the parachute in time.
If the user is not fast enough to visually detect an inflight emergency, and subsequently press the correct button on the transmitter to deploy a parachute, the multicopter will most likely be damaged.
In the event of total power failure of the multicopter, you are helpless. Most conventional parachute recovery systems run off the multicopter's battery. In such a scenario, all you can do is watch helplessly as your multicopter comes crashing down to earth.
This is where SmartChutes comes in. The SmartChutes flight sensor can detect an inflight emergency almost immediately, and subsequently deploy a parachute in a relatively small amount of time, thereby greatly improving the chances of a successful recovery at low altitude where every second is precious. This system also works in the event of total battery failure of the multicopter.
All SmartChute systems come with an integrated battery, ensuring that the system will operate and deploy a parachute, even in the event of total power failure of the multicopter.
1. Turn your flight sensor ON
Turn on your SmartChutes Flight Sensor and wait 15 seconds while it initializes. A green LED will flash for 15 seconds. Once the green LED stops flashing, you are ready to fly!
2. Fly above 50 meters
The SmartChutes system can detect an emergency and deploy a parachute in less than 350ms, but the parachute still requires time to open. For this reason, it's best to fly above 50 meters to allow the parachute to fully deploy if necessary.
Free Fall Detection
3. You are protected!
Fly to your hearts content with the peace of mind that your multicopter investment is protected. If an emergency is detected, the SmartChute's Flight Sensor will deploy its parachute, and turn a red LED "ON," indicating that an emergency has been detected.
Smart and Autonomous - SmartChutes protects your multicopter investment autonomously.
Free Fall Protection - A parachute will be deployed when free fall is detected.
- Flip and Roll Protection - A parachute will be deployed if the device tilts more than 90 degrees.
- Speed - Faster than human operated parachute systems.
- Rapid Deployment - Detects emergency AND deploys parachute in less than 350 ms.
Easy Installation - Entire system is installed using two bolts that attach to the factory landing skid mount.
- Easy to Use - Simply power on the flight sensor, and you are ready to fly!
- Safety - Reduces damage/injury caused by falling multicopters.
- Battery Redundancy - Integrated battery allows for independent operation of main power supply.
- Works at any Range - If your multicopter flies out of radio range, a parachute will still be deployed if an emergency is detected.
- No Aftermarket Transmitter - Eliminates the need to buy an aftermarket transmitter with extra channels for parachute deployment.
- Manual Deployment Option - To manually deploy the parachute, simply turn the throttle to zero. The multicopter will enter free fall and deploy its parachute automatically.
The SmartChutes system will come with everything needed to protect a multicopter weighing up to 4 lbs (1.81kg). The SmartChutes system will come with the following components:
- Carbon fiber parachute deployment canister (length 4.25" - diameter 1.5")
- SmartChutes Flight Sensor
- 36" Parachute
- Rechargeable Battery
- Carbon fiber mount (User will get to chose one mounting bracket from the following supported multicopters: Quanum NOVA, Cheerson CX-20, DJI Phantom 1, 2, 3, or a universal mounting bracket.)
- Projected weight of entire system will be under 4 oz (113 grams)
PLEASE NOTE: The final SmartChutes parachute deployment canister that you will receive will be much smaller and lighter than the prototype pictured above. The final parachute deployment canister will have a length of 4.25" a diameter of 1.5" and be made of carbon fiber. It will be 30% smaller than the prototype pictured. For a preview of what the final product will look like, see the pictures under Final Design Preview. The SmartChutes system will not interfere with normal camera or gimbal placement.
We require funding in order to buy all of the components needed to mass produce this product, and further the development of this system. Your money will be going towards having a professional code review, a PCB redesign of our flight sensor, and purchasing all of the components needed to mass produce this product at an affordable price.
Furthermore, we will need to make a bulk purchase of carbon fiber tubing, molds for mass producing the canister hinges, servos, parachutes, and all of the little parts needed to assemble the SmartChutes system.
Flight Sensor Development
Parachute Deployment Canister - Prototype
In order to drastically cut down on the size and weight of our parachute recovery system, we will be using carbon fiber as much as possible.
The deployment canister, as seen above, is built out of clear acrylic. While this material is easy to work with, it is very heavy compared to carbon fiber tubing. We will be using 1.5" diameter carbon fiber tubing in our final product. This substitution will drastically reduce the weight, and bring us closer to our goal weight of 3 ounces (85 grams) for the fully loaded canister.
We have already sourced all of our suppliers, and received quotes on how much each aspect of our project would cost. All we need is your help!
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Risks and challenges
We have already created a working prototype, so we know our system works. We have also sourced suppliers for all of the parts we need.
The only risk would be that one of our suppliers was unable to make their projected delivery date. Worst case, it might delay final delivery a little bit, but we are determined to meet our projected deadlines.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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