DailyDirt: Speedy Deliveries Coming Via Robots

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The FAA hasn't exactly been quick to figure out how its going to regulate drones, and its current rules are a bit of an arbitrary mess of trying to determine what "commercial use" really means and how to register pilots and/or the UAVs they fly. Still, plenty of projects are moving forward with plans to use (semi-)autonomous robots to deliver packages more efficiently and quickly. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2015 @ 5:17pm

    How about delivering some fast broadband?

    I know Google and Facebook are working on it... when will it come to populated parts of North America?!?!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2015 @ 5:50pm

      Re: How about delivering some fast broadband?

      There are some interesting challenges in some parts of populated parts of North America. For example. in Mexico, street numbers are assigned as lots are populated, not from one end of the street to another. Finding a particular address on a particular street can be an interesting adventure the first time one goes someplace. What will Google or Amazon do with such challenges? Also, now that Google Street View requires access to a whole bunch of stuff it does not need, it has been disabled on my devices and if others are paying attention will be disabled by many making finding hard to find addresses more difficult.

      Now that constraint should not prove a problem in the good old US of A, though one needs to remember that roughly 25% of addresses change annually. Some of that is due to people moving, other parts are due to physical changes. I used to subscribe to a mailing service that tracked those changes. Though it was a long time ago I cannot imagine the ratios changed much.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2015 @ 5:02am

        Re: Re: How about delivering some fast broadband?

        There are some interesting challenges in some parts of populated parts of North America. For example. in Mexico, street numbers are assigned as lots are populated, not from one end of the street to another.


        Obviously broadband can't get very fast when it has to search the street for the house # first

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 12 Nov 2015 @ 5:34pm

    While I don't want to go down in history for coining the phrase "Drone Pearl Harbor", I fear that it'll eventually be overused as much as "Cyber Pearl Harbor."

    The inevitable Hollywood depiction of North Korea taking control of America's tacocopters, pizza delivery wings and grocery delivery drones will look like the greatest food fight ever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2015 @ 5:37pm

    Might we be getting ahead of ourselves here? Popular magazines throughout the early and mid 20th century were constantly reminding us that the flying car would soon become the standard mode of travel: it was always "just a few years away." Then powered hang gliders became the new "they'll soon be one in every garage" wave of optimism, until they soon died out.

    And now with the FAA slapping down "no fly zones" everywhere and drafting up proposed drone regulations, this proposed 'drone skyway' idea might be just as illusive a target.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 12 Nov 2015 @ 6:00pm

    Not exactly impressive indeed

    4 MPH with a max range of 4 miles. That means it delivers to 2 miles away (max), takes a half an hour to do so, and needs a full recharge on return. It'll never replace a delivery boy except in very specific (and rare) cases.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2015 @ 6:22pm

      Re: Not exactly impressive indeed

      The 4mph speed is presumably to allow it to operate on sidewalks. But it will pose a danger to cyclists who whizz down sidewalks at a much greater speed (at least around here) and upon hitting this wheeled drone will flip over their handlebars face first into the pavement. Sidewalk cyclists would be much better off running into pedestrians, of course, because they cushion the blow and don't force the cyclist to kiss the pavement as running over a low, hard object would.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 12 Nov 2015 @ 7:55pm

    So the wheeled robot only opens to an authorized customer? How long will it be before someone finds a security flaw that allows an app to unlock any robot? Or failing that, thieves will just pick up the robot and drive off with it, smashing it open in a secluded place and stealing whatever it's carrying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2015 @ 5:07am

      Re:

      I got a bag each of milk and potatoes. What did you get out of yours? I'll trade you some potatoes for some carrots if you got any.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 13 Nov 2015 @ 6:02am

    Network Economics.

    There seems to be a law of network economics, that the branches are invariably much more expensive than the trunks. This law holds for a surprisingly wide range of network types, telecommunications networks, of course, but also such things as railroad electrification. By extension, a better means of building and operating local branches is likely to be transformative. In practice, this law also holds for delivery. A delivery service is likely to be highly economic if it can deliver many articles at each stop, which typically means delivering them to a concierge or receptionist, for further circulation.

    For example, imagine an apartment building with a concierge. The concierge has a refrigerator, a freezer, and room-temperature cupboard, in which he can store parcels of groceries which are pre-sorted by temperature. The delivery truck also has temperature-sorted compartments. The truck arrives, and the driver puts fifty or a hundred bags into the refrigerator, freezer, and cupboard, on pretty much the same economic basis as the specialist grocers which deliver to restaurants. The concierge also has a robot, which he can use to deliver parcels to various apartments. The robot might be running back and forth a couple of hundred fee

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeff R, 13 Nov 2015 @ 7:32am

    Class G airspace is already defined in the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). Planes of all kinds already fly in airspace designated as Class G.

    Whatever new regulations are created with relation to drones, none will create a Class G airspace.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jyjon, 13 Nov 2015 @ 2:34pm

    I am salivating at this idea!

    I hunt Pheasant and let me tell you, I will give that up in a heartbeat. Sitting on the porch shooting drones out of the sky is the future. Not only will you get a nice bird meal by shooting down the KFC drone, you'll get mash potatoes and biscuits, that beats pheasant any day of the week.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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