Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Mechanical Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Dr. Craig Johnson

Second Committee Member

Professor Roger Beardsley

Third Committee Member

Professor Charles Pringle

Abstract

The retail giant Amazon has become a household name synonymous with nearly instantaneous online shopping. What previously took weeks to deliver at exorbitant shipping fees can now arrive at your doorstep within two days—and all for free. This huge buyer incentive has skyrocketed the demand for online shopping, making Amazon the most valuable brand in the world. To meet this demand, Amazon and its distributors have proposed using drones to make deliveries. However, due to issues with cost and complexity, this has not yet materialized. As such, this project’s objective was to create a cheap and lightweight package-delivery system that can be easily mounted onto a drone—the popular DJI Phantom 4 Pro. The approach was simple: create a purely mechanical system, eliminating the need for complex electronics. This was accomplished via the drone’s built-in camera, which can move down to trip the package release trigger at the user’s input. The entire system is attached to the drone via quick-release clamps. The project was constructed entirely using 3D-printing. This allows for the system to be manufactured cheaply within a matter of hours rather than days or weeks. The system was designed to store payload using a hybrid cage, which swings open to release packages. Testing has found that the system weighs only 5.35-oz, can carry packages up to 8x6x3” and 1.25-lb, and can travel up to 4 miles fully loaded. Finally, the system can be produced on a small scale for less than $60.

Available for download on Thursday, June 05, 2025

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