Following on from the Tacocopter post I thought I'd update you on the Pigeon Post Smart Case design.
So I received some feedback from the last version (V 0.1.4) and have added it to my own thoughts. The improvements fall into 3 main areas:
1. Make it omnidirectional. Basically the gripper on the UAV needs to be able to grip the top plate from any direction on the horizontal plane. The base also needs to have a gripper so the case can be lifted easily if the case is upside down.
2. Add guides. There needs to be physical aspects of the Case to guide the case into the Coop and the Quadcopter gripper onto the top centre of the Case. Although these may be limited seeing that any sloping part can only be 10mm deep, the more the better.
3. Remove all moving parts. The swinging up T bar of Version 0.1.4 was a huge point of failure and needs to be replaced with a single solid part.
Incorporating these changes actually made the Smart Case much easier to standardise, easier to manufacture and lighter. I've actually redesigned it from the base plate up so have changed the version number to 0.2.1.
Here's an overview of the design:
For ease of storage this version can be manufactured to fold flat and stack on top of each other. The most compact way is to make a case which can compact down into the 1cm base and top plates and stacked on top of each other. This means that 15 compacted cases can be stored in the space of standard case.
You can download the model here: Download Smart Case V 0.2.1
And a the model I used for the Gif above: Download Smart Case V 0.2.1 Display
I'll also put the design in the Google SketchUp library and post some photos of the 3D printed version as soon as I receive it.