State of the art research

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Contents

Sources and summaries of the general subject


Auto-Selection Of Package Delivery Location Based On Estimated Time Of Delivery

Toksoz, Tuna; Gulkaya, Tutku; and Price, Thomas, "Auto-Selection Of Package Delivery Location Based On Estimated Time Of Delivery", Technical Disclosure Commons, (December 22, 2016) http://www.tdcommons.org/dpubs_series/359

Summary
Package delivery systems restrict the delivery of packages under some conditions. Present technologies select a delivery location and time based on multiple factors:

They use standard times and locations: 9:00-17:00 at work, 19:00-21:00 at home
They look at historical data (success rates in certain windows and locations)
They estimate the time it takes for the package to get ready when ordered.
They look what delivery times are optimal, and choose the one with lowest cost.

Drone shipping versus truck delivery in a cross-docking system with multiple fleets and products

Tavana, M., Khalili-Damghani, K., Santos-Arteaga, F. J., & Zandi, M. H. (2017). Drone shipping versus truck delivery in a cross-docking system with multiple fleets and products. Expert Systems with Applications, 72, 93-107. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095741741630687X

Summary
This paper looks at the advantages of a cross-docking inventory management system during the emergence of drones as a transportation alternative. A cross-docking system is a system where incoming materials are directly loaded on the next vehicle, with virtually no storage in-between. Advantages of using drones for the last-mile reduction are reduced uncertainty due to variable traffic, and less pollution. The paper provides a model for the delivery of packages using trucks and drones, while making use of cross-docking.

Drone delivery models for healthcare

Scott, J., & Scott, C. (2017). Drone delivery models for healthcare. https://aisel.aisnet.org/hicss-50/hc/global_health/7/

Summary
This paper focusses on delivery models for urgent healthcare packages, like blood, medicine, defibrillators, samples and vaccines. Prototype ambulance drones are already currently in use, and since drone technologies are getting better and better, this is a mere glimpse at what the future can do to speed up first-aid and healthcare as a whole. This paper provides 2 models for logistics networks, designed to provide timely delivery of healthcare. The model uses warehouses and drone nests. The packages are transported from the warehouses to the drone nests by land, and then brought to the final destination by drone.

Multi-Agent Path Finding with Payload Transfers and the Package-Exchange Robot-Routing Problem

Multi-Agent Path Finding with Payload Transfers and the Package-Exchange Robot-Routing Problem Hang Ma, Craig Tovey, Guni Sharon, T. K. Satish Kumar, Sven Koenig https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3016346

Summary
This paper looks into a way to minimize the time it takes for all packages within a set to be delivered, working with the following model of the world: each robot caries one package, 2 adjacent robots can exchange their packages and each package needs to be delivered at a certain destination. The model especially studies the amount of robots best to employ for a given set of packages.

Parcel delivery in an urban environment using unmanned aerial systems: a vision paper

Anbaroğlu, B., " Parcel delivery in an urban environment using unmanned aerial systems: a vision paper", ISPRS, (November, 2017) https://www.isprs-ann-photogramm-remote-sens-spatial-inf-sci.net/IV-4-W4/73/2017/isprs-annals-IV-4-W4-73-2017.pdf

Summary
The development of UAV’s started in the military. From there on, the technology spread to many other sectors that also benefit from it for performing various tasks. For this article, the use of drones for delivery purposes is considered. For now, the public still has a rather negative image of drones, as most people fear privacy violations. Professional UAV pilots, however, more fear the risk of possible accidents. The use of drones to deliver goods also has a lot of benefits. Firstly, they replace trucks, which saves a lot of space on the road and pollution. Thereby, drone delivery is good for the economy and employment, because of all development and manufacturing needed to make drone delivery systems. In short, it is cheaper, faster, safer and better for the environment. In order to get to a real implementation of drone delivery, there are three important challenges to overcome: public acceptance, regulations and technology. For public acceptance, the biggest challenges are privacy, safety and reliability. Considering regulations, the biggest problems are the tracking of the UAV’s, the identification of non-authorised UAV’s, hacking prevention and routing of the UAV’s, in order to prevent accidents. The technological challenges are mostly related to the battery life, avoiding other things and big buildings blocking GPS signals.

The Sky’s (Not) the Limit - Influence of Expertise and Privacy Disposition on the Use of Multicopters

Lidynia, Chantal; Philipsen, Ralf; Ziefle, Martina, " The Sky’s (Not) the Limit - Influence of Expertise and Privacy Disposition on the Use of Multicopters ", Springer, (June 21, 2017) https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-60384-1_26

Summary
The development of UAV’s started in the military. From there on, the technology spread to many other sectors that also benefit from it for performing various tasks. For this article, the attitude of certain groups of people towards drones is considered. In general, the attitude towards drones is rather positive. There are some concerns, however. The general public is mostly concerned about privacy, whereas professional drone pilots are mostly concerned about possible accidents. It is also mentioned that ‘privacy’ is a rather vague, ill-defined, thing, that also changes as a result of new technologies and other developments. Looking at the current legal situation, it becomes clear that none of the current legal restrictions for private drone usage is perceived as overly restrictive. Some general concerns towards drones(apart from the ones already mentioned) are the ue of drones as a weapon, misuse by criminals and spying. One last thing that is discussed by the article is the fact that people only really agree by drones flying over their houses is in case of rescue operations. For some other things, such as drone delivery, people only slightly approve this.

Post-Production Analysis Approach for drone delivery fleet

Asma, Troudi; Addouche, Sid-Ali; Dellagiy, Sofiene; El Mhamedi, Abderrahman; "Post-Production Analysis Approach for drone delivery fleet", IEEE Explore digital library, (December 01, 2017) http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8120986/

Summary
Nowadays, a lot of companies are investing in drone delivery services, such as DHL with PaketKopter, Amazon with Amazon PrimeAir , Google with Project Wing and recently GeoPoste with Geodrone. In order to get drone delivery working good, there needs to be a very good management and Logistics Support in order to be reliable, cheap and fast enough. The subject of this article is the Logistics Support part of this. Logistics support should consists of two parts according to this article:

Prerequisite SL recommended by the manufacturer through an operating manual. (This is not enough, so this paper proposes the following:) Post-Production logistics support system which depends on the exploitation requirements The article also states that ‘’the identification of the fleet status, the health status or also maintenance facilities, helps to support the system during the exploitation phase’’. Also, maintenance is important in order to get an as high as possible availability. Logistics Support Analysis is used to increase efficiency of maintenance and reduces the cost of providing support by preplanning all aspects of Logistics Support. In this analysis, the article also suggests a new part, in order to also be able to take future changes into account (For example, when a drone fleet is equipped with a new battery, there will be a lot of implications for the entire infrastructure). This new part is called an Activity Analysis. In this Activity Analysis, all implications of a possible future change are evaluated and prepared for. Lastly, a model is made to optimize the total travelling distance of the UAV’s.

A multi-objective green UAV routing problem

Coelho, Bruno N.; Coelho, Vitor N.; Coelho, Igor M.; Ochi, Luiz S.  ; Haghnazar K., Roozbeh; Zuidema, Demetrius;. Lima, Milton S.F; da Costa, Adilson R., "A multi-objective green UAV routing problem", Elsevier, (December, 2017) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305054817301028?via%3Dihub

Summary
The development of UAV’s started in the military. From there on, the technology spread to many other sectors that also benefit from it for performing various tasks. Nowadays, the biggest problems for the development of delivery drones are the very strict rules for drones (no flying in urban environments, drone must stay in sight of pilot, etc.) and the limited battery life of a drone. This paper considers a Green UAV Routing Problem (GUAVRP), which minimizes seven objective functions: total traveled distance; UAV’s maximum speed; number of used vehicles; makespans of the last collected and delivered package; average time spent with each package; and maximize batteries load at the end of the schedule. For the model, it is assumed that there are two flight levels: one low level for smaller drones and a higher level for bigger ones. In the map, there are also several refueling stations. According to the article ‘’The main contributions of this current work are:

Develop a mathematical programming model for a time- dependent UAV heterogeneous fleet routing problem, in particular: respecting UAVs operational requirements; tackling the micro-airspace considering a multi-layer scenario with package exchanging points; integrating UAVs into the new concepts of mini/microgrid systems, in which vehicles can be charged at different points of the future smart cities. Consider a multi-objective optimization framework in order to provide alternative solutions with different possible routes and schedules.’’ There are no real conclusions in this paper, it is mostly about making the model itself.

The Vehicle Routing Problem with Drones: Extended Models and Connections

Poikonen, Stefan; Wang, Xingyin; Golden, Bruce, “The Vehicle Routing Problem with Drones: Extended Models and Connections”, Wiley online library, (June 7, 2017) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/net.21746/full

Summary
This article considers a truck that is carrying drones, so it is a combination of both drone and truck delivery. In short, they looked at the difference between a lot of slow drones and some fast drones. They found that if there are times when not all drones are in service (service not fully parallelized), greater drone speed dominates and if drone range or capacity is severely limited, a larger number of drones may dominate. Also, they stated that a drone will, for any destination, always travel a shorter (or just as long) path than a truck, because a drone isn’t bound to roads. Then, they also considered some routing problems, namely Close-enough-vehicle-routing-problem(CEVRP), vehicle-routing-problem-with-drones(VRPD) and vehicle-routing-problem(VRP) (CEVRP and VRP being known problems, and VRPD being the problem of this article). They found that CEVRP gives the optimal solutions of VRPD when the velocity of the drones is infinite and that VRP gives the optimal solution of the VRPD when the velocity of the drones is 0.

Logistics support for a delivery drone fleet

Troudi, A., Addouche, S.-A., Dellagi, S., El Mhademi, A. “Logistics support for a delivery drone fleet”, 2nd International Conference on Smart Cities, Smart-CT 2017; Malaga; Spain; 14 June 2017 through 16 June 2017, Volume 10268 LNCS, 2017, Pages 86-96. https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85020887649&origin=resultslist&sort=plf-f&src=s&st1=Drones++AND+deliver&st2=&sid=dfd90f7a89df9f7bf81cbae63504aeef&sot=b&sdt=b&sl=34&s=TITLE-ABS-KEY%28Drones++AND+deliver%29&relpos=18&citeCnt=0&searchTerm=

Summary
The article proposes a solution to regulate the drone delivery fleets in urban area. In this solution they look at what they call logistics support. The drones a company uses in their delivery fleet are placed in different categories depending on their characteristics, like vertical land/take-off UAV’s. In these categories are different regulation rule that should be taken into account when designing the logistics support. They state that delivery drones are used mainly for one-day or same-hour delivery and that is where they put their focus. The logistic support is a balance between life cost, performance and operational availability. And it helps the system to behave in a satisfactory way for all stakeholders, e.g. company and costumers. The logistics support provides support technology, maintenance facilities and supply support. An logistics support used in the military: In this system the UAV’s decides to which base it will return based on its health level(high, medium, low). Different bases have different facilities for supply and maintenance and work to do. Different Technical operation levels(TOL) are introduced to describe the task frequency and complexity, the amount of level depend on system. The type of drones, legislation, TOL, health level and environment of the applied drone fleet are used to develop an efficient system for the drones. How to decide on this system is described further in the article.

A cost-optimization model in multi-agent system routing for drone delivery

Kim, M., Matson, E.T. “A cost-optimization model in multi-agent system routing for drone delivery” 5115th International Conference on Practical Applications of Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, PAAMS 2017; Porto; Portugal; 21 June 2017 through 23 June 2017; Volume 722, 2017, Pages 40-51. https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85021246581&origin=resultslist&sort=plf-f&src=s&st1=Drones++AND+deliver&nlo=&nlr=&nls=&sid=dfd90f7a89df9f7bf81cbae63504aeef&sot=b&sdt=b&sl=34&s=TITLE-ABS-KEY%28Drones++AND+deliver%29&relpos=20&citeCnt=0&searchTerm=

Summary
The paper focusses on the cost for the drone delivery system and does that concentrating at the total weighted distance traveled and the distance limits. Time is an important factor in optimizing the costs, but the demand for free shipping has bigger influence on the usefulness of drone systems. Thus the cost of a traveling drone is more important than time. To reduce these costs in the past A* search and heuristics where used to minimize the travel distance, and thus costs. The algorithm uses one place to pick up supply and get maintenance. The battery life is therefore important for the drones. The system looks to the possibility to place drones on busses(public transport)so they keep moving to their target while charging their battery. The algorithm looks for a way to merge bus routes and delivery routes, saving air space, time and costs. The experiment show promising results in uses bus routes and UAV’s together. It can reduce the total mileage up to 50%. (See the table and graphs)

The regulation of civilian drones impacts on behavioral privacy

Clarke, R. “The regulation of civilian drones impacts on behavioral privacy”, Elsevier (2014). https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/computer-law-and-security-review

Summary
The article explain that there are different forms of privacy and the part that surveillance drones play in invading this privacy. In the next section of the article explicit ways and problems are discussed about the surveillance of the drones, e.g. discrimination, oppressed and paranoid feelings. The main conclusion of this part is that there is a negative psychological impact on individuals and at social and economic level of groups in society. In the fourth part the article explains the way drones are regulated right now. It explains multiple ways to regulate drone usage and concludes that some ways, like soft regulatory forms, are not satisfactory. Other forms need some changes to be able to implemented in a society. The article continues with discussing human right laws and privacy laws and their importance in the context of surveillance drones. The articles importance for our project would be that we could use the views of different stakeholders discussed in the article and take them into account in our setup. The social impact on people with the usage of drones could influence the way our setup is made. Furthermore the regulatory forms discussed show us multiple things to think about in our setup. As well as the laws that our setup should comply to.

Understanding security threats in consumer drones through the lens of discovery quadcopter family

Valente, J., Gardenas, A.A., “Understanding security threats in consumer drones through the lens of the discovery quadcopter family” 1st Workshop on Internet of Things Security and Privacy, IoT S and P 201717; Dallas; United States; 3 November 2017 through; Pages 31-36. https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85037170675&origin=resultslist&sort=plf-f&src=s&st1=Drone+AND+privacy&st2=&sid=c5f18c4f77c303d21946d6694dba2da1&sot=b&sdt=b&sl=32&s=TITLE-ABS-KEY%28Drone+AND+privacy%29&relpos=10&citeCnt=0&searchTerm=

Summary
The paper addresses privacy, security and safety issues of using drones, and the paper recommend basic steps to solve these issues. The article focusses on the drone technology and how to take over drones. This isn’t useful for our project. What is important for our project is the following paragraph. The article states the general concerns that people have with consumers drones, but also delivery drones. These are the privacy that the drones can fly over your piece of land, make videos/photo’s without you even seeing the drone. There are security concerns, the drones can stop work and fall down, not everyone is capable of correctly handling a drone. Most people won’ t misuse the drones, however the article states that most drone types are easily hackable and give multiple examples how. Sometimes only Wi-Fi connection and using the app, easily obtainable from the appstore of google play, can be used to take over the drone. The hackers get complete access to the movememt and camera of the drone. And can use them to take pictures, and crash it into places they want. Drones can also get to places where the operator wouldn’t be able to see before. Therefore new restriction for drones need to be thought of. The idea was to restrict the drone from getting to certain GPS locations, but with hacks this was easily avoided. The key conclusions of the article is basically that the security of consumer drones need to be improved significantly. More specific conclusions for the system are listed here:

Securing drone access point with a strong password, and WPA2. Limiting the number of devices allowed to connect to the accesspoint. Also, enforcing user authentication, and denying income and outgoing traffic from and to unauthorized devices. Disabling ftp and telnet.We found that none of these services are needed for the normal operation of the Discovery drones. But if there must be an anonymous ftp user, then the device should not allow read and write access to the entire root directory. Sending network packets between app and drone over a secure channel. Upgrading the software running in the device. The Discovery quadcopters (released in 2016) use BusyBox 1.20.2 which was released in 2012. Since then, there has been 18 software updates to BusyBox, and these devices may be vulnerable to other known BusyBox vulnerabilities [4]. (Unfortunately, it is not possible for users to update the firmware in Discovery drones).

Drone-Aided Healthcare Services for Patients with Chronic diseases in Rural Areas

Kim, S.J., Lim, G.J., Cho, J., Côte, M.J. “Drone-Aided Healthcare Services for Patients with Chronic diseases in Rural Areas” Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: Theory and Applications Volume 88, Issue 1, 1 October 2017, Pages 163-180. https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85017116386&origin=resultslist&sort=plf-f&src=s&st1=Drones++AND+deliver&st2=&sid=dfd90f7a89df9f7bf81cbae63504aeef&sot=b&sdt=b&sl=34&s=TITLE-ABS-KEY%28Drones++AND+deliver%29&relpos=5&citeCnt=1&searchTerm=

Summary
Rural areas generally have less facilities then urban areas. For people with chronic diseases in rural areas it can be time consuming and costly to travel to hospitals every day or week for treatment and check-ups. The same can be said for the professionals that travel from home to home to give adequate home treatment. Drones give a good perspective for a solution on this problem, since the drones can deliver checkup kits, medication and more to hospitals and homes. Saving a lot of time and money for hospitals and patients. Furthermore, the professionals have more time for treatments were they actually have to be there, increasing the satisfaction of patient and the professionals themselves. The article contributes these points to the already existing literature:

Proposes a concept for drone-aided healthcare delivery and pick-up system in rural area Model with two steps Strategic planning to optimally decide drone centers Operational planning for optimal drone flight Tool to analyse cost-benefit Provide an algorithm to solve proposed models For the model and cost-benefit analysis could be useful to use in our own setup. However, the useful parts of the model would be the results and less the algorithm that the writer made.

Can unmanned aerial systems (drones) be used for the routine transport of chemistry, hematology, and coagulation laboratory specimens?

Amukele, T. K., Sokoll, L. J., Pepper, D., Howard, D. P., & Street, J. (2015). Can unmanned aerial systems (drones) be used for the routine transport of chemistry, hematology, and coagulation laboratory specimens?. PLoS One, 10(7), e0134020.’’ http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0134020

Summary
The article is about an experiment in which they tested the effects of transporting certain samples that can be used for scientific purposes. 336 Paired samples were tested in this experiment. One half was transported for a variable time with an unmanned aerial system, the other half stayed where it was. After the transport, both parts of every sample where tested with 33 different tests. The outcome was that transporting samples with those systems doesn’t affect the samples. This means that unmanned aerial systems can be used for routine transport of chemistry, hermatology and coagulation laboratory specimens.

Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility system

Paduano, J. D., Wissler, J. B., Piedmonte, M. D., & Mindell, D. A. (2017). U.S. Patent No. 9,557,742. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/42/dc/94/46e337c04ce7ea/US9557742.pdf

Summary
The article is about an invention of an Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility system. The system should be able to communicate and get orders to do certain tasks. It should also be able to navigate and touch down on the right place by using sensors and by following up the given orders. Sometimes the system can get different kinds of orders for the route, like a launch route, an approach route and a flight route. The system should see how high it is flying, see where it is, detect light and it should be able to contact via radio signals with an supervisory control system.

The economic and operational value of using drones to transport vaccines

Haidari, L. A., Brown, S. T., Ferguson, M., Bancroft, E., Spiker, M., Wilcox, A., ... & Lee, B. Y. (2016). The economic and operational value of using drones to transport vaccines. Vaccine, 34(34), 4062-4067. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X16304352

Summary
In poor countries, it is difficult for the people to get vaccines. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) can be the solution to this problem. An experiment is done in which the transport with UAVs is tested on transporting vaccines through different circumstances and on the costs of it relative to the traditional multi-tiered land transport system. The experiment was done with help of the HERMES-generated simulation model. The result is that UAVs are suitable for transporting vaccines, but it has to happen on a large scale to overcome the costs of installing the system.

Drone transport of microbes in blood and sputum laboratory specimens

Amukele, T. K., Street, J., Carroll, K., Miller, H., & Zhang, S. X. (2016). Drone transport of microbes in blood and sputum laboratory specimens. Journal of clinical microbiology, 54(10), 2622-2625. http://jcm.asm.org/content/54/10/2622.full

Summary
When fighting big epedimias, like ebola, in poor countries it is difficult to transport medicines because of the bad infrastructure. An solution to this problem can be Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The problems with UAVs are the forces working on the medicine samples in the vehicle. In this article a test is done on the effects of these forces on the medicine samples. The samples were flown in the UAVs for approximately 30 minutes and then tested. None of the tested properties seemed to be changed after the flight. This means that for the organisms tested UAVs are a good solution, however other organisms, circumstances and samples should still be tested. This can be done the same way as the experiment of this article.

Privacy and drones: Unmanned aerial vehicles

Cavoukian, A. (2012). Privacy and drones: Unmanned aerial vehicles (pp. 1-30). Ontario, Canada: Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada. https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/lbrr/archives/cnmcs-plcng/cn29822-eng.pdf

Summary
It is likely that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are going to be used more often. A huge disadvantage of UAVs is that they can fly everywhere and thus violate the privacy. This problem can be solved by determining how much privacy may be violated and by continue checking if this limit is not exceeded. It is also needed that UAV-using organisations have restrictions on what they can do with the UAVs and how much information the can collect. Another measure could be to design the UAVs in a way, that they can’t violate privacy.

Civilian drones, privacy, and the federal-state balance

Bennett, W. C. (2014). Civilian drones, privacy, and the federal-state balance. Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings. https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/civilian_drones_privacy_bennett_NEW.pdf

Summary
Because remotely controlled flying robots are getting cheaper and more suitable for transportation purposes, we are going to see them more. Those robots are able to go where other vehicles can’t go and observe things humans can’t observe. In that way those robots can violate our privacy. There are a few problems for the government to make a law for this, because we don’t know how drones will be in a few years from now. The development of drones in cooperation with the government could lead to drones that won’t be able to violate too much of our privacy. A downside is that this new style of developing will take a while before it is entered.

A cost-benefit analysis of Amazon Prime Air

Welch, Adrienne (2015). "A cost-benefit analysis of Amazon Prime Air". University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. https://scholar.utc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.nl/&httpsredir=1&article=1051&context=honors-theses

Summary
Amazon is looking to employ drones for package delivery. Amazon offers products at prices consistently lower than traditional retailers. Amazon has also an advantage over other online retailers in the speed at which the company can send a package out for delivery. The current speed in package handling is made possible by 89 fulfillment centers around the world equipped with Kiva robots. By handling the deliveries themselves, Amazon eliminates the middle man between them and their customers saving considerable amounts of money. Drones could reduce labor costs, increase efficiency and reduce errors. In the paper titled, “Analysis of Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Application in the Civil Field”, Kharchenko and Prusov consider the various uses for drones, breaking them down into three groups: safety control, scientific research, and commercial. Kharchenko and Prusov specify the following requirements needed in the structure of an Unmanned Aviation Complex (UAC) or drone station:

the unmanned aircraft itself. control stations (management) of unmanned aircraft and antennas system. software and systems of on-board monitoring of the unmanned aircraft. communication means (earth/air and air/earth) for air traffic control and unmanned aircraft payload. terminals of data processing. landing system.

launch system and systems of the flight refreshment. maintenance equipment and the support of unmanned aircraft and its systems. systems of storage and transportation of unmanned aircraft complex. As drones become more and more popular the airspace could get crowded and the allocation of frequency range for UV’s. Tatham compares the costs of operating a fixed-wing light aircraft, helicopters, and UAVs and finds that UAVs are less expensive to obtain and operate by looking at capital cost, operating speed, and mission cost. The downsides to using drones is that they could invade people’s privacy and that people could try to steal the packages in transit. It is important to note that Amazon will set up this system only in areas where the system would be efficient and profitable. Amazon will have to weigh the costs of setting up and operating the drone system based on population, population density, and the number of customers and potential frequency of use in the area. Amazon could hold an market advantage via patents on the drones/system or by keeping the logistics secret. for the first few years, Amazon will experience an advantage in being the first firm to ever offer such an innovative technology. the optimum location for a firm with several inputs and outputs is the median transport location, the location that splits the total monetary weight of the firm into two equal halves. (the principle of median location). costs may include:

The drones themselves Buildings and land associated with the drone stations Computers and monitoring software systems for drone flights Computer technicians and drone monitors on site Robotics Engineers for maintenance and upgrades to drones on site Utility costs of running the building Logistics management team to oversee operations Potential insurance and legal fees associated with drones Potential air and/or frequency rights for drones, etc.

Optimizing a Drone Network to Deliver Automated External Defibrillators

Justin J. Boutilier, BSc Steven C. Brooks, MD Alyf Janmohamed Adam Byers, MDEM Jason E. Buick, MSc Cathy Zhan, MSc Angela P. Schoellig, PhD Sheldon Cheskes, MD Laurie J. Morrison, MD Timothy C. Y. Chan. (2017). “Optimizing a Drone Network to Deliver Automated External Defibrillators”. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/135/25/2454/tab-article-info

Summary
This paper focuses on a model for AED delivering drones. The goal of this model is to determine whether a drone network designed with the aid of a mathematical model combining both optimization and queuing can reduce the time to AED arrival. The aim of the drones is to arrive 1, 2 or 3 minutes in advance of 911 arrival, the model calculates how many drones and bases are necessary for multiple cities.

Sources and summaries on the specific case


Robotic Aerial Vehicle Delivery System and Method

Sisko, M. (2015). U.S. Patent Application No. 14/565,348. https://patents.google.com/patent/US20150158599A1/en

Summary
In order to facilitate safe and coordinated delivery by UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), this patent provides a landing platform. This platform is placed on a safe place, away from individuals, preferably above the roofline. The platform can sense dangerous situations, and communicate with the UAV to guide it, or abort the delivery if a safe landing is not possible. Besides that, the platform may also be connected to the inside of the building, so it can transport packages between floors.

This patent describes a platform that is placed on the roof of a building, which can receive drone deliveries. By means of an elevator, the package is then transported to a lower level, so a person can actually receive the parcel. Also, it suggests several ways of identificating the right platform/drone, such as RFID, a QR-code, and so on.

Secure Handling of Unsupervised Package Drop Off at Smarthome

Fadell, A.M.; Rogers, M.L.; Matsuoka, Y.; Sloo, D.; Honjo, S.; McGaraghan, S.A.; Plitkins, M.; Veron, M.; Guenette, I. (2017). Secure Handling of Unsupervised Package Drop Off at Smarthome. USA. https://encrypted.google.com/patents/US20150145643

Summary
This patent mostly discusses a smart home, with a quite broad scope. This summary will only discuss the relevant part for this project. For the delivery of goods by any agent, this paper suggests to make a system that recognizes the delivery agent with the package, and then lets this agent into a certain part of the house to drop off the parcel, while the agent doesn’t have access to any non-authorized rooms.

Autonomous and automatic landing system for drones

Garrec, P., & Cornic, P. (2012). U.S. Patent No. 8,265,808. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. https://patents.google.com/patent/US8265808B2/en

Summary
This patent brings forward an automatic aircraft landing guidance system which uses an electromagnetic detecting and locating device on the ground, which uses echo to determine the drone’s distance and angular position. This information is transmitted to the drone via radiofrequencies, so the drone can land very accurately. The drone itself also provides measurements which it communicates with the ground to have maximum accuracy.

Landing Pad For Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Delivery

Walsh, R., & Falesch, A. J. (2015). U.S. Patent Application No. 14/587,828. https://patents.google.com/patent/US20150183528A1/en

Summary
This patent brings forward a lockable storage compartment which can be fitted into a standard window, or stand alone on a roof or a field. If its mounted in a window, the digital interface and door to the locked compartment can be on the inside, and a platform for the drone to land on can be on the outside. Interesting additional features the done can have are: drone charging station and ID verification via radio waves. Lastly, the landing pad can be configured to fold into the window when it is not used, as to reduce wind resistance.

Machine-readable delivery platform for automated package delivery

Shucker, Brian Daniel, and Brandon Kyle Trew. "Machine-readable delivery platform for automated package delivery." U.S. Patent No. 9,864,967. 9 Jan. 2018. https://patents.google.com/patent/US20170220981

Summary
When a customer orders something from a package delivery system a machine-readable code is generated. This generated code is then sent to the customer and the customer has to display this at the delivery location. Then the aerial delivery drone gets information about the location of delivery. When the drone arrives at the location of delivery it checks if the machine-readable code on the display is correct and drops the package there.

System and Method for Controlling Drone Delivery or Pick up During a Delivery or Pickup Phase of Drone Operation

E. Farris, W. F. McGee. (2016). System and Method for Controlling Drone Delivery or Pick up During a Delivery or Pickup Phase of Drone Operation. (US) https://patents.google.com/patent/US20160033966A1/en

Summary
This patent describes a landing platform for UAV’s to land to pick up or deliver a parcel. The platform has an integrated guiding system verifying the UAV’s permission to land and guides the UAV to the platform. In addition, a method of operation is given.

A Multi-Modality Mobility Concept for a Small Package Delivery UAV

Young, L.A. “A Multi-Modality Mobility Concept for a Small Package Delivery UAV” https://vtol.org/store/product/a-multimodality-mobility-concept-for-a-small-package-delivery-uav-11868.cfm

Summary
The article describes a different approach to the current delivery drone system. The approach described uses an aerial drone to deliver the packages to a central point in a neighborhood , from that point an automated vehicle delivers the drone to the destination. The concept is called the MICHAEL (Multimodal Intra-City Hauling and Aerial-Effected Logistic). The concept elaborates on one concept of an drone that converts to an driving drone on the designated landing spots in a neighborhood. The article mostly describes how the concept was made, looks into delivery time and the costs of the MICHAEL system. For us it is important to look at some considerations like the landing angle of the drone, this is important for the design of our landing platform. Furthermore, the considerations the writers took for this concept are useful. People are used to the driving vehicles in their neighborhood, adding a driving drone wouldn’t be such a problem for most people. People aren’t used to aerial drones in their neighborhood, they are more invasive than driving drones and have less danger in crashing. In the MICHAEL system the drones will only fly to one spot in the neighborhood, this way people can get used to flying patterns, which can’t be done in the current system. However, the MICHAEL system would cost more than the already existing system. In designing the landing platform/delivery spot we have to think about how we want to see the packages being delivered. Because making a pole high of the ground isn’t useful for ground delivery drones.

Delivery platform for unmanned areal vehicles

Koster, K.L. “Delivery platform for unmanned areal vehicles” U.S. Patent No. 2015/0175276 A1, Jun. 25, 2015. https://patents.google.com/patent/US20150175276

Summary
The patent describes a pole where the delivery drone should deliver the packages on. The pole has a platform on top where the drone should land. Around this platform is an safety ring that protects the surrounding of the rotor blades from the drone. The platform is placed high of the ground to be sure that no pet/wild animal/children or adults can be damaged while the drone delivers a package. The package is placed inside the platform on top of the pole, this way the package is also safe from hard/weather condition and theft.

Drone Operated Delivery Receptacle

Pleis, James. "Drone Operated Delivery Receptacle." U.S. Patent Application No. 15/289,295. https://patents.google.com/patent/US20170116568A1/en

Summary
This package receiver has the shape of a small house. On the roof there are two gates, which can automatically open if the drone with the package is detected nearby. When the user wants to take the package out of the small house he can open the gates at the front side of the house to take the package.

Unattended Delivery Drop Box

van Dyke. J. (2016). Unattended Delivery Drop Box. Chicago (US). https://patents.google.com/patent/US20170091710A1/en

Summary
This patent is about a drop box for drone deliveries functioning as a mail box or a vending machine. It has an opening to receive packages from drones or users. Users can collect their package by providing the drop box with an access code of various types. It has a user interface consisting of at least a display.

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