Reconsidering Payload Parameters

I’m excited about adding a Subscribe to Updates feature, which will enable weekly emails featuring progress.

I’ve been reconsidering the overall parameters of the payload, in terms of mass and specific dimensions. For the V7.2 drone shown on this site, the payload is 20” long by 14” wide and 8” tall (50.8 cm x 35.56 cm x 20.32 cm). It was also intended for up to 5 lbs (2.27 kg).

In hindsight this was largely arbitrary. I’m not sure why the FAA sets the maximum weight for drones to be 55 lbs (24.95 kg), but it seemed like an attractive design ambition to set 5 lbs as the starting target.

My new line of thinking revolves around what is most cost effective; at some point a drone is so small it loses its utility, or so large it becomes unmanageable for landing in a suburb urban or urban environment. So what payload capacity to design for should be governed by this consideration.

The example payload I’ve used in my math is 2 liters of fruit juice or soda and an additional ½ kg of goods. This is a fairly sizable margin, especially considering ordering 2 liters of soda by drone is an odd use of the technology. A more likely use scenario might be ordering 1 liter of fruit juice, maybe several other sizable items such as 3 apples and 2 peaches (½ kg), and a variety of other lightweight items (¼ kg), for a total of 1.75 kg or 3.86 lbs.

Designing for a smaller payload will further assure me the thrust margins will be sufficient for the drone to perform during the ascent with a maximum payload. It will also bring the cost of a single drone unit down.

This and other factors are being included in V8, which I intend to begin in the near future, but I’m still in the midst of the office set up, and I don’t want to fracture my attention too much.