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Author: admin
Date: July 5, 2022
SYSTEMS, METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR AN AUTONOMOUS DRONE SMARTPHONE CASE

Embodiments of the present invention provide software and a
protective smartphone case that can transform a standard
smartphone into an autonomous drone. The autonomous drone case
is adapted to securely hold, cradle, frame and connect to a
smartphone for the purpose of allowing the smartphone to hover
or float above the ground in one specific place. While hovering,
the smart phone can record video, capture photos, and/or respond
to voice commands to control the drone case to move in a
specified direction and use the cameras of the smartphone to
follow or track a moving object or person.
In some embodiments, a smartphone is secured in a
removeable surrounding frame which attaches to an elongated
hinge connecting to two, relatively thin, enclosed rotor
assemblies. Via the hinge, the enclosed rotor assemblies close
around the smartphone like the protective cover of a book, one
assembly in front and one in back. When opened at 90 degrees
relative to the smartphone (and 180 degrees relative to each
other), the enclosed rotor assemblies are in an open flight
position and form a “T” shape with the smartphone and frame.
The autonomous drone smartphone system can then hover in place
and perform other smartphone and drone functions. In an
additional configuration, either of the enclosed rotor
assemblies can be swung open 180 degrees relative to the smart
phone and frame (like opening a book cover) while the other
enclosed rotor assembly remains flush against the smartphone.
This configuration allows access to the smartphone for use of

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conventional handheld smartphone features such as calling or
reading email.
As indicated above, the smartphone is “sandwiched” in
between the two enclosed rotor assemblies which, in some
embodiments, each enclosed rotor assembly can include one or
more propellers (e.g., multiple rotating airfoil-shaped blades)
that are similar to helicopters blades which can create lift
when rotated at high speed.
In some embodiments, when the enclosed rotor assemblies
disposed on both sides and open in the flight position to form a
“T” shape, the smartphone is locked in its frame or cradle and
the airfoil blades in the enclosed rotor assemblies on both
sides power on, spin in opposite directions for stability and
create lift. This motion pushes air down and allows the system
to hover in place. In some embodiments, the enclosed rotor
assemblies include smartphone controllable gimbals that can be
used to tilt the rotating airfoil blades to allow controlled
lateral movement of the autonomous drone smartphone. The lateral
motion can be used to correct drift, to follow a moving object,
or to make the autonomous drone smartphone come when called by a
voice command or phone call.
The smartphone’s battery provides a power source for the
system. When the smartphone is locked in the cradle frame, the
smartphone is also plugged or connected to the cradle frame
which houses wiring that carries power to independent motors
which each drive a blade propeller. When the motors are
activated they activate the blades into circular motion allowing
for flight. The drawings illustrate a smartphone plugged into an
embodiment of a cradle frame, left and right enclosed rotor
assemblies in various positions, and views of honeycomb shaped

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vents adapted to allow air flow therethrough. Note that with
both the left and right side enclosed rotor assemblies or
“wings” closed, they encase the phone, and the entire system can
conveniently be carried in any pocket or handbag.
In some embodiments, the rectangular shaped cradle, which
frames in or holds the smart phone, has multiple parts. The
cradle frame itself pulls open in one direction which then
unlocks the smartphone from the cradle allowing the phone to be
removed. This also removes power from the drone case.
Alternative embodiments of the autonomous drone case can include
an internal/independent power source to supplement or replace
the power supply of the smartphone. In some embodiments, the
cradle frame or the enclosed rotor assemblies can include a
processor, memory, and other control circuitry to communicate
with the smartphone and/or control the rotors. Sensors can also
be included.
In some embodiments, the outer hard case and other
components can be constructed of durable plastic, carbon fiber,
and other suitable materials. For example, the propellers can be
made of carbon fiber.
In some embodiments, the smartphone is lockable in the
frame cradle which is concurrently attached to a fixed-stop
hinge connecting to two multi-rotor assemblies, one assembly can
be designated as a front assembly and he other a back assembly.
Turning now to FIG. 1, a perspective view of the drone case
is depicted.
The rectangular shaped cradle which frames in or holds the
phone has multiple parts. In the depicted embodiments, the frame
itself pulls open in a left direction which then unlocks the

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phone from the cradle allowing the phone to be removed. This
also disconnect the drone case from smartphone battery power.
FIG. 2 depicts an end view of the drone case in a closed
position. FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of the drone case
in a closed position.
The following example dimensions are in inches and are
provided to illustrate the size of an embodiment of a drone case
for a typical smartphone. Note that other dimensions are
possible and the example dimensions are merely approximate.
 1.654’’ +/- 0.25” thickness or width
 5.888’’ +/- 0.25” from left to right or overall length
 3.091” +/- 0.25” in height
FIG. 3 depicts a front view of the drone case in a fully
opened (non-flight) position. This position is for using the
smart phone in a conventional manner (e.g., viewing the display,
talking on the phone, etc.). FIG. 4 depicts a front view of the
system in a flight position.
FIG. 6 provides further views of the fully open position
for convention use of the smart phone while mounted within the
drone case.

In the open or front view, this position allows the right-
side wing/door or dual propeller enclosed rotor assembly to open

for normal phone use. When this side is open, people can access
all their normal phone functions. The frame or cradle also has
cut-outs or slots for normal ear phone connectivity and power
charging use. The phone’s volume controls, speaker and
silent/vibrate functions are physically exposed as well. Please
also take notice of the Yellow case picture on the upper right
above: Notice the small grey dot on the lower left-hand corner
and lower right corner; those are Neodymium magnets. When the

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case is in the closed position, those magnets will couple with
magnets in the same position on the lower corners of the
opposite wing or enclosed rotor assembly.
This Specific example drone case embodiment is adapted for
use with a iPhone 7 manufactured by Apple. Alternative versions
can be adapted for other iPhone models as well as Samsung models
of smartphone products.
FIG. 7 depicts a perspective view of an example embodiment
of the phone cradle portion of the drone case. Note that two
propellers and other parts are also shown for reference. FIG.
8 provides further views of the phone cradle.
FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of an example
embodiment of the drone case illustrating how the phone cradle
can include separable left and right sides. Notice that in the
depicted embodiment, the left side pulls apart from the right
side. Also, the right side includes a connector for coupling
the phone to the cradle for power and control. By pushing the
left and right sides together, the cradle closes around the
smartphone. Note also that the right side includes a hinge pin
portion that threads through hinge loops on the enclosed rotor
assemblies of the drone case.
FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view of one of the two
enclosed rotor assemblies. This view provides a parts breakdown
for the enclosed rotor assemblies:
1) Base Plate Front (is the interior base to hold/connect
motor and propellers
2) This represents the Motors. There are 4 independent
motors which are directly connected or wired to the power source
as well as connected to the propellers. Each individual motor is
connected to an individual propeller.

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3) In some embodiments, Propeller 3 spins or turns in a
circular motion with, for example, a counterclockwise rotation.
4) In some embodiments, Propeller 4 spins or turns in a
circular motion with, for example, a clockwise rotation.
5) These propeller pairs spin in opposite directions
(clockwise and counterclockwise) to enhance in-flight stability.
In some embodiments, the propellers adjacent to each other can
likewise be configured to spin in opposite directions so that
all four propellers work together to enhance in-flight
stability.
6) The Air Cones 6 can be embodied as a tapered circular
or truncated, open ended conical ring within which each motor
and propeller pair are centrally disposed wherein the propeller
is coupled to a drive shaft of the motor so as to rotate within
the protected radius of the air cone 6. In some embodiments,
the air cones 6 concentrate or compresses air flow to help
stabilize the system and additionally directs airflow to provide
lift or translational force depending on the orientation of the
air cone 6.
In some embodiments, the air cone 6 can be mounted or
coupled to the system on a concentric gimbal so that the air
cone’s orientation can be adjusted. In such embodiments, the
gimbal can be controlled by actuators (not shown) that are under
the control of the mobile phone. In some embodiments, the air
cones 6 can be constructed from a highly heat conductive
material, e.g., light weight metal such as aluminum, so as to
function as a heat sink, drawing heat away from the motors and
thereby preserving the life of the motors. The air cones 6 can
also serve to direct increased air flow toward the motors to
further enhance the cooling of the motors.

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7) Magnet Hall effect Sensor 7 in various embodiments,
applications, products, etc., can be embodied as a transducer
that varies its output voltage in response to a magnetic field.
Hall effect sensors 7 are used for proximity switching,
positioning, speed detection, and current sensing applications
in some embodiments of the present invention. In some
embodiments, they are used in brushless DC electric motors to
detect the position of the permanent magnet.
8) Fastener Elements 7, 8 & 10 can all be embodied as
fasteners (e.g., mini screws, nuts and bolts, etc.) used to hold
together various parts of the enclosed rotor assembly
9) The Cover Vent 9 (including a honeycomb pattern for air
flow).

FIG. 11 depicts views of the left side of the phone cradle.
The left side couples with the right side of the phone cradle to
securely hold the smart phone and the two enclosed rotor
assemblies.
FIG. 12 depicts the vent covers and vented bottom plates of
the propeller assembly. FIG. 13 depicts a magnified view of a
vent cover of the propeller assembly when the drone case is
closed, and FIG. 14 shows the vent covers when the drone case is
in an open flight position. These drawings represent one
embodiment of example vent covers. Note that both sides are
connected by an interlocking hinge which allows both sides to
independently open and close. The vent covers protect the
propellers and provide support for the honey comb shaped vent
holes.
FIG. 15 represents the base plate which is attached by
screws to the vent cover. There are 2 base plates. These base

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plates are where the motors sit and connect to the wiring which
brings current or power from the smartphone battery to power on
the motor to make the propellers spin.
FIG. 16 depicts views of the drone case in the open flight
position. This is what the system looks like in use. Both vent
covers attached to base plates open in a “T” formation. This
allows power on, simultaneous 4 motors electrified and 4
propellers spinning, pushing air down which creates lift and
hover-in-place mode. FIG. 17 provides an additional perspective
view of the system in the open flight position.
FIG. 18 depicts details of an example embodiment of the
propellers. In some embodiments, the system uses four three
blade propellers. Underneath each honeycomb vent is the enclosed
rotor assembly. Each individual enclosed rotor assembly is the
location for a single 3 blade propeller. Each blade on the
propeller is curved on top and smooth underneath. This is an
aerodynamic design which creates lift. It pushes air down and
allows the drone case to hover. In the center of each propeller
is a hole. This hole is the canal for the motor underneath to
connect to and sit on. The pin on top of the motor is attached
to the propeller and makes it spin in a circular motion.
FIG. 19 depicts another example embodiment of a drone case
system (without a mobile phone installed) from a top, front,
side and perspective view. As can be seen from the various
views, the drone case system is adapted to securely hold a
mobile phone on its’ edges in a landscape orientation to allow
the mobile phone to record video and/or still images. In some
embodiments, the drone case system can be adapted to hold a
mobile phone in a portrait orientation. In such an embodiment,
the drone case system can include elongated arms for holding the

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edges of the phone and a hinge along the shorter edge of the
drone case. FIG. 20 includes an exploded perspective view of
the drone case embodiment of FIG. 19. FIG. 21 depicts a
perspective view of an embodiment of the drone case system
(including a mobile smartphone, in flight. Note that in some
embodiments, even if the drone case system application is
recording video, as shown, the display may be turned off to
conserve battery power.
In operation, the drone case system can implement numerous
conventional drone functions. For example, hovering in place,
GPS based path following, and a “follow me” function that uses
facial or other personal (e.g., a jersey number, voice, other
sounds, hair color, height, body shape, body-worn radio or light
beacon, vehicle, combinations thereof, etc.) recognition to
track a target subject. The system further includes a software
application executable on the mobile smartphone that not only
implements control of the motors but also the drone functions.
In some embodiments, the application is adapted to connect to
and communicate with a second instance of the application
running on a second mobile smartphone. In such an embodiment,
the second instance of the application can be used to control
the first instance of the application running on the smartphone
mounted in the drone case. Thus, the user can direct the flight
of the drone case system using the second mobile smartphone.
In some embodiments, the drone case can be used to
facilitate two-way video communication between the mounted
smartphone and the second mobile smartphone. In some
embodiments, the drone case system can be controlled via voice
commands (e.g., the spoken command “phone come to me” causes the
phone to launch (i.e., spin up the propellers) and fly to the

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user) or via a remote control transceiver (e.g., an RF
transceiver with one or more joysticks for drone case control).
In some embodiments, the drone case could include actuators (not
shown) and spring hinges to allow the drone case to be remotely
transitioned from a closed configuration to an open flight
configuration (i.e., “pop open”) via remote control (e.g., voice
or electronic). In such an embodiment, the spoken command “phone
come to me” (or an electronic signal) can cause the phone to pop
open, launch (i.e., spin up the propellers) and fly to the user.
In some embodiments, the frame of the drone case can be
adapted to either fit (or adjust to fit) multiple different size
and/or brand smartphones, or the frame can include replaceable
components adapted for holding and electrically connecting to
different size and/or brand phones. In some embodiments, the
drone case can include additional batteries or be adapted to run
off of the mobile phone battery. In either case, the drone case
can include a low power LED (or other type) light that emits
different color light to indicate battery status (e.g., red for
low power, yellow for medium power, green for full power, blue
for charging, etc.)
In some embodiments, the drone case system can include a
fail-safe energy management system. For example, the
application can monitor the battery power of the phone and/or
drone battery and determine the remaining time the drone can
stay aloft. In some embodiments, the drone can override other
functions and return to the user and/or land if power depletion
is imminent. Likewise, the drone can automatically limit its
range to insure it will be able to return to the user and/or
launch point. In any case, the drone can be programmed to at

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least always insure it can descend to a safe landing without
falling due to battery power depletion.

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