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Amazons drones - seriously?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by George Bulliss View Post
    At least with the highway you can make a choice to be on it or not. No such choice if these things start buzzing over neighborhoods.
    I can't argue with that! I certainly wouldn't mind having more of a say in what business and government do that affect me.
    My cup 'o plasma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1vMfmhM9fg No dialog, just ten minutes of dancing plasma and music. Turn on, tune in, space out.

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    • #32
      They could also blow up your house if you don't tip well LOL Alistair
      Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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      • #33
        Never underestimate the stupidity of the American (or any other) public.

        A couple years ago this was going around the tech sites. Normally intelligent, technologically oriented people were getting excited and angry because they couldn't sign up for the beta of what was an obvious joke.

        The site was created by Star Simpson, someone who has somewhat of a flair for the dramatic troll. Some of you might remember her as the MIT student who was arrested at gunpoint a few years ago for wandering into Boston Logan airport with an "art project" blinking on her chest that was mistaken for a bomb...

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        • #34
          This may be mostly a publicity stunt or joke, but the basic concept has some validity, and very well may be the "wave of the future". The industrial revolution originally promised to reduce human labor, and futurists postulated that machines might eventually just about eliminate the need for everyone to work long, hard hours to survive. It was a dream to create a society where everyone would have a lot of free time to enjoy life in a leisurely manner, while robots and automated processing plants would take care of dangerous, difficult, and annoying tasks.

          However, our society has been conditioned by the Puritan work ethic that we must put in our 8 or 10 hours a day being productive and earning money so we can raise our standard of living, but we have also been conditioned by advertising and our competitive nature to value material items and money itself as a measure of wealth, rather than our free time and intangible assets which do not involve a lot of expense, and should be much more satisfying.

          Comments about the loss of jobs because of automated shipping concepts such as this, show how much we have become totally dependent on regular employment, while in reality we should be reevaluating our social paradigms to welcome greater efficiency and less work. We have already accepted on-line shopping, which has a strong impact on retail stores, resulting in the creation and expansion of mega-stores like Walmart and large shopping malls. But consider the fact that shopkeepers and their employees probably spend most of their time sitting in their stores waiting for customers to wander in, which is hardly efficient. And also consider the millions of trucks on the road hauling freight, piloted by single human drivers in various physical and mental/emotional states, competing with other trucks as well as people in much smaller cars, causing traffic congestion, pollution, roadway degradation, frustration, and serious accidents.

          Most of these human entities could be replaced by automated systems for shopping (as has already become the norm), and shipping could be accomplished much more efficiently, and safely, by rail transport where only a few personnel are needed to operate a train which carries the equivalent of hundreds of trucks and drivers. It has also been proposed that it would be more efficient for most household goods to be ordered and delivered by a network of vehicles (which would most likely be electric and possibly autonomous), so that people would usually not need to make trips to various stores to get items they need. We could order our groceries and other items on-line, and receive them within a day just like we get our mail.

          We should look at the big picture to see how much we have become dependent on concepts that will soon be untenable as our energy resources diminish and demand supersedes supply and drives prices out of reach. Our obsession with material items and electronic entertainment devices, and desire for more money and bigger houses and cars advertised on the basis of aggressive and competitive driving, is fueled by corporate entities and stock speculators who require an ever-expanding economy to "make money from money". Instead of having machines and gadgets work as our slaves, we have become slaves to our technology. We must realize that this is unsustainable, and our present lifestyle and social norms have become unhealthy and doomed to meltdown. But it can be a good thing if we work toward enjoyment of life itself, and not the artificial and ultimately meaningless goals of ever increasing conspicuous consumption, and distraction from reality through our addiction to electronic entertainment and communication.
          http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
          Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
          USA Maryland 21030

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          • #35
            In order for this to work, there will have to be a protected air-travel corridor for just drones. Protected bandwidth for flight-control/tracking. And severe restrictions on where and how these things can fly and land.

            What I see... is a contract with a local delivery-service. Lets take the local Fox Delivery Company that we use from time to time...

            I can see you selecting "gotta have it now" on the website... the internal process determines that the closest distro-center is down-state... that it will take an hour to pull, package and load into a drone. Two hours flight-time (based on the weather), it lands at the Fox Delivery Company which unloads the drone, hits the "return-home" function and loads your item into a courier-van and brings it to you.

            This could on paper revolutionize "same day shipping" in many cases, in major hub cities... the day of a little robot delivering your order to your doorstep is a long long ways off... it may never happen.

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            • #36
              And with that I just figured out/solved the mechanics of Drone Delivery. This is part of why Amazon threw this out there, they have folks reading various feeds for ideas/solutions/suggestions. When Drone Assisted Delivery becomes a reality based on the model I suggested above, remember I came up with it first. So did a bunch of other people I have no doubt.

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              • #37
                Perhaps there could be drone landing sites on the roof of local businesses, so all you would need to do is drive a couple miles to the store and pick it up. For direct delivery, you may need to get an approved landing zone. This would be a great way to accomplish delivery to remote areas that are difficult to reach by road, or even in congested city neighborhoods (which may also be dangerous to delivery people due to crime). Becoming a local delivery point may also open up a "cottage industry" by providing pickup and delivery services within walking, cycling, or neighborhood vehicle access.

                This service could also be adopted by the USPS, so you could just go to the post office to get your quick delivery item, and it could also be part of the UPS or FedEx networks which have facilities at Staples and other stores. Larger drones could handle larger and heavier items, or multiple items. They are probably much more efficient than the present fleet of delivery trucks, and could easily be powered by small electric motors and batteries, which could be quick-charged at pickup/delivery points. For more remote home delivery, homeowners could have a recharging station and the value of the recharge could be deducted from the delivery price. This could easily be automated, and intermediate points could be used to extend the range of delivery.

                I like the idea of Drone Assisted Delivery, or "DAD". Almost as good as Guaranteed Overnight Delivery, or "GOD"...
                http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                USA Maryland 21030

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                • #38
                  Drone defense? I'm no redneck, but visions of relatively safe Nerf machine guns or aerosol canisters of Silly String come to mind - just for sport, mind you.
                  Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                  ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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                  • #39
                    A fishing rod with Kevlar line might be very effective.

                    "But really, your Honor, I was just practicing my casting when this funny looking bird went for the bait..."
                    http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                    Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                    USA Maryland 21030

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                    • #40
                      I believe that the proposal is only for packages weighing less than 6#, which is the greater share of Amazon's packages.

                      You guys laugh, but imagine people in 1940 being told about people walking on the moon. Or even, overnight package delivery from the other coast.

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                      • #41
                        No reason for it not to work.
                        People have been working on "Swarm" software for years. Just the ticket for this sort of thing.
                        The ongoing cost for a delivery starts with the cost of electricity to charge the battery for a 10 mile round trip ticket.
                        If someone is successful with this, you could see a lot of local businesses using this type delivery system.
                        If I could order an oil filter from a local auto parts store and have it delivered pronto for less the the gas, time, wear and tear on my car, I will jump on that.

                        My first worry about this proposal is the drop off point. Will it land on my kid or roof?
                        Oh, and they had better be dead quiet! else I'll help you-all to shoot them down myself. And then face a stiff penalty from the law.

                        Tom M.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by mayfieldtm View Post
                          No reason for it not to work.

                          The ongoing cost for a delivery starts with the cost of electricity to charge the battery for a 10 mile round trip ticket.
                          Have you noticed that UPS is retrofitting all their trucks as hybrids? It's not because they're greenies, it's because every dollar spent on delivery is multiplied by millions of packages/day.

                          So you're going to charge a bunch of quad copter batteries at X% efficiency and it's going to fly to the delivery site with electric motors with Y% efficiency. Now compare the total energy output to a vehicle carrying several hundred packages in a wheeled vehicle running on a very efficient gasoline or hybrid engine. It's not even close.
                          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by lazlo View Post
                            Have you noticed that UPS is retrofitting all their trucks as hybrids? It's not because they're greenies, it's because every dollar spent on delivery is multiplied by millions of packages/day.

                            So you're going to charge a bunch of quad copter batteries at X% efficiency and it's going to fly to the delivery site with electric motors with Y% efficiency. Now compare the total energy output to a vehicle carrying several hundred packages in a wheeled vehicle running on a very efficient gasoline or hybrid engine. It's not even close.
                            Although the drones would have two distinct advantages over trucks.One being line of sight transit and two being constant motion,no constant stops and starts once in the air.
                            wierdscience
                            Senior Member
                            Last edited by wierdscience; 12-04-2013, 02:12 AM.
                            I just need one more tool,just one!

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                            • #44
                              Wonder what an unauthorized vollyball net would do the roll-out?

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by jdunmyer View Post
                                You guys laugh, but imagine people in 1940 being told about people walking on the moon. Or even, overnight package delivery from the other coast.
                                Or new battery technology that will allow something the size of a D cell battery and costs $5 to replace the lead-acid batteries in our cars.

                                Personally I just hate it when basic physics and real world practicality gets in the way of new technology.

                                Steve

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