Here at the Wake Forest Fire Department I finally gave up looking for a UAS rescue basket solution to deliver small items to victims in remote locations. There was no apparent solution available that met the wish list needs for our DJI Matrice 210 delivery solution. After looking high and low for a mechanism to deliver and drop items to a victim, I never could locate what I was looking for so I built this solution.
If you decide to build a similar setup you will need to flight test your rescue basket rig and make a notation in your UAS aircraft logbook regarding the testing and flight performance before you put your solution into service.
The goal was to create something with off-the-shelf parts that would be safe and lightweight.
With this configuration a victim is unable to pull the UAS down and if they grab the basket, it will detach from the aircraft. The setup below weighs 3.5 ounces once constructed.
All items needed for this basket were purchased off Amazon and I’ll link to the items for you to easily find.
Keeping in mind there is no perfect custom-built solution, I’m sure you will have your own ideas on how to improve this setup. My primary concerns when building this solution was it had to be inexpensive and if lost in service for some reason it would not be hard to replicate.
The items used were:
Car Mount, Maxboost [2 Pack] – $7.99
Mount Metal Plate – $5.99 (But it turns out the magnetic mount came with some of these plates. However, always a good idea to have some extras.
Mini Bungee Cord Jar, 20 Count – $9.46
Total investment = $30.19
How to Build It
1. Remove back on magnetic mount. Unscrew back prong from flat part.
2. Break off metal prong in metal attachment plate and drill two small holes in remaining plate and reattached feeding ends of a 10″ mini bungee cord through hold. Screw back to flat magnetic part.
3. Remove handle from coffee filter basket. Tie knot in center of mini bungee cord for central attachment point and crimp ends of mini bungee cord to basket where handle was removed.
4. Take one of the round magnetic plates and crimp a mini bungee cord to hole in plate.
5. Take two mini bungee cords and attach to skids with the two 10″ cords meeting in the middle under UAS and connect through bungee loop with magnetic plate.
6. Connect bungee with metal plate to magnetic base hanging from aircraft.
7. The entire rescue basket setup will easily store in the basket. The basket measures 5x4x3 inches.
Carrying an assortment of small items like tools, radio, and cell phone there was no identifiable degradation of flight performance. It is a given that as the weight of your payload increases it would cause a reduction in flight time to some degree. However, this rescue basket setup weighs only 3.5 ounces.
In my own personal testing there was no impact on flight characteristics. The Matrice 210 held the GPS position with authority.
Testing both gentle and aggressive tugging on the basket allowed the basket to separate from the aircraft 100 percent of the time without creating a risk or danger to the victim pulling on the basket.
The basket is relatively small in size but it appears to meet our needs for the delivery of a radio to communicate with a victim or medications. I have not tested the setup with a larger item like a life vest but it is possible the setup would be able to accomplish that task as well. The key to the system is the ability for the carried item to detach when pulled by the victim.
Additionally, if a victim could not figure how to remove an item, the pilot could raise the aircraft when they grabbed the basket and it would cause it to separate and deliver the basket to the victim.
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