Arguably, everyone living outside of a cave understands that signals have a limited range. Wifi, Bluetooth, 4G and 3G internet signals or even radio signals, all get affected by the location where they are being transmitted and where they are being received. Wifi won’t work blocks away from its buildings’ location. The reason for that is that Wifi signals dissipate their energy and get weaker as they move further and further away from the router transmitting them. They would ultimately get so weak that it would be impossible to use the Wifi at a certain distance from the router. This can also get problematic within a single building, in a two story house with just one Wifi router, one can either make-do with weak signals away from the router or one can simply use a Wifi range extender that makes the job really easy and makes sure that the signals from the same router are distributed throughout the building. So, the usage of multiple transmitters for the same signal can greatly improve the signal strength and quality.
Conventionally, signals are transmitted by fixed transmitters; they could be Wifi routers, radio towers etc. Right? Wrong! Satellites have been used for signal transmission for a fair amount of time, and guess what, satellites are not fixed in space, they are moving, revolving around the earth freely. So what if our Wifi modems worked the same way? What if our radio signals were not covered by stationary towers but rather by moving receivers and transmitters?
To examine the problem, Branko Djordjevic, Torsten Dudda and Wojciech Potentas patented a design of one such system achieved by using drones. Their patent is titled, “Provision Of Coverage For A Wireless Communication Network By Using Moving Base Stations On Robots Or Drones”.
Figure 1 shows a diagram illustrating a system for providing coverage of a wireless communication network according to the invention;
Figure 2 shows an illustration of mobile robots taking up geographical positions from the maintenance base, according to the invention;
Figure 3 shows an illustration of a daisy chain loop of deployed mobile robots, and a circular shift operation, according to the invention.
Figure 4 shows an illustration of a plurality of daisy chain loops, all together forming a mobile coverage area, according to the invention; Figure 5 shows an illustration of a double daisy chain loop, according to the invention;
Unmanned aircraft vessel, unmanned land vehicle, and unmanned marine vessel are types of vehicles that move autonomously without human pilot, either autonomously on a pre-programmed path or steered from remote. These vehicles could operate respectively in the air, on the land, on sea, or on inland water. The vehicles typically have an own engine respectively jet, propeller, wheel, crawler, propeller screw, or hover propulsion and gear.
The increasing capabilities, high movability and the recently decreasing price of mobile robots suggest utilizing mobile robots also in new deployment areas, for example in wireless communication networks.
As per the patented model, a multitude of mobile robots provide a radio coverage area of a wireless communication network of which is equipped with a radio base station of the wireless communication network. The group of drones moves to a location to deploy as part of a daisy chain loop of the mobile robots upon receiving instruction from a maintenance base. As the instruction is received, the mobile robot moves to an updated location as part of a circular shift operation performed by the mobile robots.
While there are some challenges that are fully and openly acknowledged by the said patent, such as the problem of recharging of the drones and extra data transfer requirement reporting the operational status of the drones to the maintenance base, the model presented by the patent appears to be applicable and feasible for efficient operation.