Idaho Patent of the Month – April 2023
Pitch Aeronautics LLC, an aerospace company based in Idaho, has invented a new method for controlling aircraft. Their drone design uses patented technology to control both vertical takeoff and landing. The design uses a combination of multirotor and cyclorotors to achieve six degrees-of-freedom motion, controlling lift, pitch and roll. The cyclorotors control lateral translation and yaw.
The aircraft is equipped with a microcontroller that reads signals from a range of sources, including a sensor package with distance measuring sensors, an optical flow camera, and a first-person view camera and transmitter. The signals are then used to send control signals to the cyclorotor and the plurality of multirotors to adjust the pitch, roll, yaw, and vertical orientation of the aircraft.
In addition to its unique control method, Pitch Aeronautics’ aircraft is designed to be equipped with various payloads such as a touch-based non-destructive testing sensor, a drill, a robotic arm, an active thermography sensor, a ground-penetrating radar, and more, making it ideal for inspection and surveillance tasks.
The newly patented technology supports the company in their bid to build the world’s most advanced industrial inspection drone capable of precise, touch-based inspection and maintenance of industrial assets. Their cyclorotor propulsion system allows for unparalleled thrust control and maneuverability.
This is an incredible improvement in the industry, allowing rope-access industrial inspections to be performed with drones without sacrificing the specificity required. Previous attempts at using drones could supplement these dangerous inspections with video, but simply could not achieve the control needed to fully make the transition to drones.
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