US 9,809,306 B2
Controlling unmanned aerial vehicles as a flock to synchronize flight in aerial displays
James Alexander Stark, South Pasadena, CA (US); Clifford Wong, Burbank, CA (US); and Robert Scott Trowbridge, La Canada, CA (US)
Assigned to Disney Enterprises, Inc., Burbank, CA (US)
Filed by DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC., Burbank, CA (US)
Filed on Aug. 5, 2015, as Appl. No. 14/819,048.
Application 14/819,048 is a division of application No. 13/768,823, filed on Feb. 15, 2013, granted, now 9,102,406.
Prior Publication US 2015/0338855 A1, Nov. 26, 2015
Int. Cl. B64D 47/02 (2006.01); B64C 39/02 (2006.01); G08G 5/04 (2006.01); G08G 5/00 (2006.01); G05D 1/08 (2006.01); G05D 1/00 (2006.01); G05D 1/10 (2006.01)
CPC B64C 39/024 (2013.01) [B64D 47/02 (2013.01); G05D 1/0027 (2013.01); G05D 1/0808 (2013.01); G05D 1/104 (2013.01); G08G 5/0021 (2013.01); G08G 5/04 (2013.01); G08G 5/045 (2013.01); B64C 2201/024 (2013.01); B64C 2201/027 (2013.01); B64C 2201/128 (2013.01); B64C 2201/143 (2013.01); B64C 2201/146 (2013.01); G05D 1/102 (2013.01); G08G 5/0069 (2013.01)] 19 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A flight control method, comprising:
at individual ones of a plurality of multicopters, receiving a flight plan that is unique to the individual ones of the multicopters, wherein the flight plans differ from other ones of the flight plans and wherein each of the flight plans includes a plurality of way points, whereby flight of the multicopters is non-random;
concurrently operating the multicopters to execute the flight plans;
providing a communications channel between pairs of the multicopters;
with a first one of the multicopters detecting a second one of the multicopters in a predefined space proximal to the first one of the multicopters; and
with the first one of the multicopters, transmitting an instruction to the second multicopter, over the communication channel between the first and second multicopters, to move out of the predefined space and, with the second multicopter, receiving the instruction and responding by operating the second multicopter to change position to move out of the predefined space.