In the future, drones and other autonomous transport vehicles will deliver products or provides different kinds of services. They all need to load their batteries to fulfill their work. In this tutorial, we building a prototype of a charging station, where these machines could buy some energy. In this use case, we focus the delivery drone, which delivers packages from A to B, as an order in a local bakery to its customer.
To showcase the whole drone delivery scenario with the recharging of the batteries, we simulate the whole ecosystem to make it public to everyone.
The drone is already active and simulated here.
The charging station is built with a Raspberry Pi. The software delivers an API - an application interface for the drone and the charging station. Each station has a unique id, a position, and an energy price and delivers detailed charging information. Drones can order a charging process in the future to plan their route and get a guaranteed place for charging.
We use the Industry Marketplace Python Helper to run a service requester and service provider. The drone requests for charging and automatically accept a cheap price.
The charging station
The charging station is a service provider instance of the IOTA industry marketplace. As soon as this service provider receives a proposal, it calculates the charging price and accepts it.
This is a simple demonstration of a charging station. The code runs on a Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry actives a relay that brings electricity to the plug. To active the plug for a specific time, you need to pay it. The base of payment handling is the IOTA payment module. After a successful payment, we can charge the batteries of a drone.
The relais turn on the power after successful payment.
You also could run a charging station on a smaller and cheaper device like an ESP32 or ESP8266 connected with a relay. The code for a Sonoff Basic - a device with WiFi and a relay build in can be found here. You can flash it via a UART to the USB connector.
Wind energy provider offers electricity for drones. Depending on the wind strength the price is fluctuating a lot. The IOTA industry marketplace allows drones to pick the cheapest electricity price.Why an open marketplace?
The information about a charging infrastructure should be accessible to everyone for free. Companies can run charging stations and drones which are accessible by others - without a middleman or platform costs.
Learn more about the open marketplace here.Credits
Thanks to the Team
If you are interested to build this simulation further and bring it in production in the future - join our Discord and say hello!