Adept Drone

Adept Drone is "Drone Assisted Adaptive Robot Control" (patent application # 62135190)

My interests have always adhered to the science of Engineering, and as a result was under the impression that a career in Robotics might be a viable choice. In order to further my insight in the robotics industry and test whether I would enjoy this sort of career path I tried to simulate the tasks I would have to face and complete on a daily basis and registered as an intern at FANUC America in Detroit during my summer break. But what I experienced can not simply be described as an “Internship”, it was neither an activity nor a routine. It was an experience, and it was phenomenal. Exposure beyond anything I had ever previously witnessed. I was able to learn the fundamentals and basics of the manufacturing industry and this has helped morph my view on the field of robotics. I was exposed to another world , filled with machines, foreign materials, and diverse people. I was provided with opportunities to observe and interact with the technicians regarding a career in Engineering.


During the progression of my internship I worked on setting up FANUC's sealant and paint automation systems. Constructed vehicular cells, and developed automated drone assisted paint processes. My exposure to the construction of vehicular cells as a result led to the birth of an idea, that externally manifested itself in the form of a patent.


Fixed cameras were used within the vehicular cells to calibrate the specific location of the vehicle so that Robot could work on the vehicles with precision. However I realised that many times the calibration does not work due to many reasons including dirt on cameras, fewer number of fixed cameras, etc. When the car body entered the automated painting and sealant system it is required to be mounted on top of a skid, however any misalignment between the skid and the car body would greatly impact the painting and sealing process. As a result I thought of a method by which I could decrease this level of inaccuracy so that it would become nearly non existent. As days and months melted by, I realised that if only we have cameras that come in and go out, life would be easy!  I continued to research and arrived at the educated conclusion that an autonomous drone system could be used to calibrate and regulate the painting and sealant process. I tried fitting in a camera on a drone and voila! I had solved the problem. Basically the drone with camera calibrates the precision location of vehicle and feeds the data to the robots for precise operation. This system incorporates a drone with 3D camera which makes programmable robots adept! Programmable robots are present within their 4th iteration and are great for repetitive tasks but are unable to adapt to a new task or environment. Hence the “adept drone” that captures the environment with a 3D camera and sensors feeds calibration to the programmable robots for it to adapt to the environment.


I hope that this system will greatly reduce the inaccuracy present within the current automobile industry. In the end this project was indicative of the growing sense of curiosity within me and I hope that I gill grow from this intellectual experience. 

Rahul Babu

Applying Adept Drone technology for Prosthetics