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Author Topic: The Robotic Courier Network Thought Experiment  (Read 2966 times)
grondilu
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November 26, 2010, 02:01:29 PM
 #21

Fully homomorphic encryption would open the possibility of 100% autonomous robots.

The robots store Bitcoin private keys inside a fully homomorphically encrypted program.

Whenever the robot gets repaired or refuelled (by whoever feels like doing it - there is no central authority maintaining the robots), the robot rewards that person with a few BTC.

Of course the robot would require some unforgeable proof that it has been refuelled or repaired, before sending a BTC transaction. I'm not sure how this could be done.

The robots could also "earn" BTC by delivering stuff for people and getting paid.

Vandalism is discouraged, because if you destroy the robot the BTC stored in its memory are gone forever. Remember that simply copying the memory is useless because it's encrypted, and decryption is only possible by interacting with the robot.


This is wild science fiction.  Moreover, I doubt such autonomous robots would be a good thing.

Robots belong to people.  There is no point building a robot who belongs to no-one.  I also disagree about vandalism being discouraged.  If I had such a robot in front of me, I could destroy it, not for the bitcoins, but just for fun.  That's what vandalism is about : it is not theft, it is pure desctruction for the sake of destruction.

The only way to prevent vandalism would be to give robots some kind of rights, which is even wilder science fiction.

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Timo Y
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November 26, 2010, 03:05:51 PM
 #22

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Robots belong to people.  There is no point building a robot who belongs to no-one.

They would be the physical equivalent of open source software which also "belongs" to no one. 

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I also disagree about vandalism being discouraged.  If I had such a robot in front of me, I could destroy it, not for the bitcoins, but just for fun.

The more BTC stored inside the robot, the smaller the chance of vandalism.

Destroying a "wealthy" robot for fun would be the equivalent of you  finding a safe on the street that you know has $100,000 inside it, and then dumping that safe in the ocean, just for fun.

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grondilu
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November 26, 2010, 03:32:44 PM
 #23

They would be the physical equivalent of open source software which also "belongs" to no one. 

Nope.  A software is immaterial.  It cost nothing to copy.  It's different in robotics, unless you build a self-reproductive robot.  Wild science fiction again.

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The more BTC stored inside the robot, the smaller the chance of vandalism.

Destroying a "wealthy" robot for fun would be the equivalent of you  finding a safe on the street that you know has $100,000 inside it, and then dumping that safe in the ocean, just for fun.

If someone has really no hope in hopening the safe,  they would throw it for sure.

Plus, throwing a safe is certainly less fun than destroying a robot.
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December 03, 2010, 12:21:19 AM
 #24

[Those robots] would be the physical equivalent of open source software which also "belongs" to no one. 

Open source software does belong to someone.  Copyright law has teeth here, http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1390172&rll=1 and without that protection there would be no copyleft, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft

(Sorry to rant but IMHO "freedom" requires knowledge of & respect for the relevant laws.  Embarrassed)

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The more BTC stored inside the robot, the smaller the chance of vandalism.

ISTR studies support this.  Nice, shiny cars parked in rough areas are less likely to be vandalised; possibly because people appreciate the cars' beauty.  Sorry I forget the references here.

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Destroying a "wealthy" robot for fun would be the equivalent of you  finding a safe on the street that you know has $100,000 inside it, and then dumping that safe in the ocean, just for fun.

If the safe is not beautiful, then "sour grapes" may take over.  Undecided

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ribuck
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December 03, 2010, 11:06:10 AM
 #25

Open source software does belong to someone.

Some does and some doesn't. There's plenty of open source software that is public domain.
grondilu
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August 30, 2011, 09:53:39 AM
 #26

Sorry for necro-threading

No worries.  I remember this thread quite well and I enjoyed it.   Glad to have this kind of news.

Things will be even greater once we'll have pizza-delivering robocopters.

But indeed, a robocopter could be a nice way to deliver drugs as well.  And not just legal drugs Smiley
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August 30, 2011, 11:21:34 AM
 #27

Sorry for necro-threading but I saw this today and it seems relevant to the discussion, stale as it may be...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-19882_3-20098172-250/matternet-delivers-drugs-by-robocopter/

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The company proposed building a network of robotic drones to deliver medication quickly and very cost-effectively--even less than a guy on a dirt bike costs.
I was going to post this myself. If you combine cutting edge postal processing services, airport-grade package routing and bay distribution with automated drone network distribution, you can basically have one person put an envelope or parcel into a chute (could be you if you print out the sticker or barcodes yourself) and it comes out of the system directly onto someone's porch or building dronemail box.

Add in some variable tariffs, pay as you go, self-insurance options, and you get the fastest and cheapest global delivery network.

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