Home What is Drone in a Box technology?

What is Drone in a Box technology?

In recent days, drone in a box technology is gaining more attention among the general public. A few of the drone companies have already implemented the drone in a box technology successfully. Others are on the path to implementing this technology.

Video Credits: AirHub

Drone in a Box is an advanced intelligent system that contains Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) as a core sub-system. The drones used in the box are designed in a way to intelligently return to one of the deployed boxes after completing the intended mission and recharge themselves in the box.

A stand-alone Drone-in-a-box system comprises three main sub-systems, such as:1

  1. Ground Station
  2. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
  3. Artificial Intelligence System

Ground Station

Ground Station is a robotic box that charges and shelters the drone. The ground station reports all the diagnostics data to the base station from which the service provider or user can able to analyze the reports.

Video Credits: Percepto - Autonomous Drones

The ground station comprises two main sub-systems, namely:

Communication System

When it comes to unmanned systems, the significant factor which implicitly drives the entire system is Communication. As we all know, the drone needs to transfer data to the base station via the ground station, and this can be achieved using the communication system.

Communication System - Online Image Credits: Online illustrations by Storyset

Most of the drone-in-a-box systems support 4G and 5G networks for higher bandwidth data transfer.

Power System

The power system is one of the critical subsystems present in the drone-in-a-box technology since the failure of this system leads to no operation of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.


The power system will start charging the drone automatically once it returns back to the ground station after completing its intended mission.2 In simple words, this sub-system is nothing but a battery charging station for drones.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (or drones) used in the drone-in-a-box technology are advanced drones incorporated with artificial intelligence. These drones are capable enough to perform the autonomous inspection without any human intervention (or with minimal human intervention).

Most of the drones used in the drone-in-a-box technology will land on the box using the aid of visual navigation powered by artificially intelligent vision systems.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Image Credits: Camera photo created by ArthurHidden - www.freepik.com

Once after completing the routine inspection or intended missions, they’ll share all the data collected during the mission to the ground station. If there are any issues during the flight or after the flight, the ground station immediately communicates this to the base station or else the data will be sent based on the predefined priority.

Artificial Intelligence System

The artificial intelligence system is one of the core systems present in the drone-in-a-box architecture, which is responsible for the entire automated inspection. This system is capable of performing the following activities autonomously in the intended airspace:

Artificial Intelligence Image Credits: Technology illustrations by Storyset

Actually, the artificial intelligence system is a computer that performs some of the complex computing operations with ease using previously gained pieces of training.

Object Detection

Object detection is a technology related to computer vision and image processing that deals with detecting objects in digital images and videos.3 In our case, object detection is used to identify the foreign objects or person in the intended air-space where the inspection or mission is performed by drone.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Image Credits: (MTheiler), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Object Tracking

During the inspection, if any foreign object or a person is identified in the intended air-space means, then this system will actively track the movement of the detected object.

Video Credits: Omur Can Ozgunlu

There are many deep-learning algorithms available for performing object tracking, but the tedious part in implementing this system is the conversion of the object’s local coordinates into geographic coordinates.


Automated Landings

The drone industry is inevitably a patron of computer vision technologies. The autonomous landing of the drones after completing the designated missions can be easily achieved using modern computer vision algorithms.

Video Credits: UZH Robotics and Perception Group

The automated landing or autonomous landing is one of the vital features of the drone-in-a-box technology.

Night Operations

It’s hard to implement the former three systems using a normal camera during the night. The thermal camera is used to perform all the operations during the night because it’s easy to capture the heat signatures at night instead of going with visual colours.

Thermal image of a cow moose during winter Image Credits: Zaereth, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are a few recently developed computer vision algorithms that support both night and day operations with a slight difference in performance.


I’ve tried to explain the drone-in-a-box system with the acquired information from various sources. I’m expectantly waiting for your valuable feedback and suggestions regarding this article.

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This post is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 by the author.




Dhulkarnayn - Elucidate Drones


I am 25 years old drone developer, holds a postgraduate degree in Avionics. I've worked on a few complex projects like drone swarms, drone light shows, autonomous landing of drones using computer-vision algorithms, etc. Since childhood, I'm much passionate about electronics, aerospace & engineering.

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