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Patent MarketPlace: Drone/UAV Patents for Sale

Surface Scanning and Videography via Drone (Drone Control): Three U.S. Patents

There are currently over 800,000 drones registered in the U.S. In addition to recreational uses, drones are used by electric utilities to inspect power lines, by ranchers to track their cattle, by retailers to deliver products, and by surveyors to create maps. These are just a few of the many applications for drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). A drone typically includes a camera that sends back video, making most drones an “eye in the sky.”

While drones are, by definition, “unmanned,” they are not pilotless. They require a remote pilot on the ground to guide them. This portfolio adds a totally new dimension to drone capabilities. Rather than simply provide a video eye-in-the-sky to the drone pilot, it enables drones to map the terrain they are flying over or are vertically adjacent to. By measuring various points of the surface below them or in front of them, receiving signals from points on the surface, and linearly scanning the surface along a line parallel to the plane, a drone can guide itself without crashing into mountains or other obstructions. In addition, a drone can autonomously scan and create digital models of vertical and semi-vertical surfaces such as mountains and buildings, providing the drone operator with detailed information about the topography.

Applications for these expanded drone capabilities include providing those exploring new areas not just a look over the horizon, but what topography is ahead. In fact, these drones can be used to create not just maps, but detailed topographical maps and three-dimensional models of geography, buildings, and other real-world objects.

This portfolio includes U.S. Patent Nos. 10,250,792 and 10,594,915 for “Unmanned aerial vehicles, videography, and control methods” and U.S. Patent No. 10,924,654 for “Surface surveillance by unmanned aerial vehicles.” It would be a critical acquisition for any drone manufacturer looking to introduce a next-generation drone with enhanced mapping and surveillance capabilities.

UAV Navigation, Recharging, and Ground Movement (Archon Technologies): International Patent Portfolio

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (or “UAV” or more simply “drone”) has become a key element in today's economy and culture. Products are delivered by drone. Electric utilities use UAVs to inspect power lines. The Forest Service uses drones to search for fires. Emergency service providers use UAVs to give them an eye-in-the-sky to monitor an accident or natural disaster. Drones are increasingly used for recreation and have dozens of other applications. There are currently almost one million recreational drones registered in the U.S.! Additionally, U.S. and EU regulators are increasingly allowing autonomous operations, so it is just a matter of time before we will have numerous services assisted by artificial intelligence and intermediated by UAVs.

As the population of drones and drone owner/operators grows, the needs of those businesses, government agencies, and individuals who own and operate UAVs will grow as well. This dynamic patent portfolio addresses three needs that the growing drone population will have – and some businesses will have to supply.

  • Fleet Management: Businesses and government agencies with a fleet of drones will need technology to manage the services they provide, keep in communication with their UAVs, and best utilize them to maximize the organization's return on investment.
  • Docking and Recharging: The drones in the fleet will need to be docked with a re-charging station, and this needs to be upgraded from a manual process requiring human labor to an automated process that reduces labor costs.
  • Ground Movement of Drones: An airplane is made to fly, but it can also taxi, enabling it to be moved into a hangar or to a repair facility or wherever else it needs to go. Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) drones cannot taxi, so a device will be needed to move them from one ground location to another enabling fully autonomous operations.

Patent Portfolio

  • U.S. Patent No. 10,372,142: System for autonomous operation of multiple hybrid unmanned aerial vehicles supported by recharging stations to perform services
  • U.S. Patent No. 10,967,960: Ground movement system plugin for VTOL UAVs
  • U.S. Patent No. 11,065,976: Docking and recharging station for unmanned aerial vehicles capable of ground movement
  • U.S. Patent No. 10,976,752: System for autonomous operation of UAVs
  • European Patent 3314344: System for autonomous operation of multiple hybrid unmanned aerial vehicles supported by recharging stations to perform services
  • Chinese Patent Application 109070759: For being able to carry out the docking recharging station of the unmanned vehicle of ground moving
  • Mexican Patent Application 2017012941: Ground movement system plugin for vertical take off and landing unmanned aerial vehicles

The acquirer of this portfolio will be able to offer UAV fleet management services, improved docking and recharging of drones, and ground movement technology for UAVs with patent protection on three continents.

Enclosed Landing Pad for Drone Delivery (Quantium Systems): U.S. Patent No. 10,377,507

Science Fiction movies of the 1950s and 1960s that purported to show the future had people going to work in helicopters. That never really happened. But delivery of a product to your home or office via drone is not Sci-Fi. It is reality. Amazon, Google, UPS, Dominos, 7-Eleven, Rakuten, DHL and Uber are just a few of the companies currently making deliveries via drone. Google set up a whole new business, Google Wing, and Amazon established Amazon Prime Air, for their drone-delivery businesses. And the number of companies offering drone delivery is growing. Drones are fast, affordable, efficient and they never get stuck in traffic. At least not in highway traffic.

This portfolio covers the next generation of drone delivery of products by addressing the issues that have been uncovered as the drone-delivery industry has grown. For example, the invention protects the delivered product from theft or vandalism. It also protects it from the weather, and from the neighborhood dog, raccoon or other animal. And it helps keep a pizza warm and medicine cool. The invention is a drone landing pad with foldable sides that encloses itself around the drone-delivered product until the recipient of the product arrives to retrieves it!

U.S. Patent No. 10,377,507 for a “Multifunctional motorized box and landing pad for automatic drone package delivery” is one asset in a portfolio that also includes Canadian Patent 2898304 and U.S. Patent Application 20190367184 that is a continuation of the ‘507 Patent and shares that patent’s 2015 Priority Date. This portfolio would be a strategic acquisition for any drone manufacturer, drone-based services provider, or a business seeking to enter the fast-growing drone delivery industry without having to actually fly drones!

Drone-to-Ground Image and Message Communications (Verna): U.S. Patent No. 8,970,400

Wouldn’t it be critically helpful if citizens could be quickly and efficiently notified about natural disasters, fires, traffic accidents, terrorist attacks and other events? This patent establishes a “Civil Communications Hub” that does exactly that. Images from a drone are transmitted to a server, and information that the public needs to know is transmitted to a pre-determined list of recipients. The transmitted information consists of images and multilingual messages that are received on the recipients’ smartphones and other hand-held devices. Recipients can immediately forward messages to family members, co-workers, friends, neighbors and others who need to know about the specific event.

The invention covered by this patent creates an efficient method of communicating images from a drone to those who need to know. The technology could be used by utility companies to send employees in the field images of a fire, earthquake, traffic accident or other event they need to know about, or for volunteer fire companies to send images to their members of a fire or natural disaster. It can be used to notify homeowners about a fire, flood or other disaster endangering their homes, including images of the exact location of the disaster. U.S. Patent No. 8,970,400 for an "Unmanned Vehicle Civil Communications Systems and Methods" would be a valuable asset for any drone/UAV manufacturer as a value-added service it can offer its customers, or for a cellular phone operator as an additional service for its subscribers.

Precise Drone Delivery System (Intelligent Innovation): One U.S. Patent and Three Design Patent Applications

This portfolio takes drone delivery of products to a new level. U.S. Patent No. 9,412,280 for a "Cooperative System and Method for Precise Autonomous Delivery" covers the high-accuracy delivery of products to desired locations by drones through an inexpensive and easy-to-implement navigation system.

It ensures precise delivery to a specific location selected by a customer. The landing zone uses a unique machine-readable identifier that requires no power or maintenance. The customer simply places the identifier where he or she wants delivery of an item, scans the unique identifier using a smartphone app, and sends the unique identifier image along with the geophysical location of the smartphone to the seller. This information is fed to a drone that navigates to the location using GPS, then searches for the unique identifier to deliver the package to the exact location requested by the customer!

The portfolio also includes three U.S. Design Patent Applications, and would be a strategic acquisition for any retailer or e-commerce business that delivers physical products to its customers.

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