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Author Topic: Courier Network (For real)  (Read 10429 times)
RustyShackleford
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April 18, 2011, 05:29:13 PM
 #41

You don't even have to pay the human minimum wage necessarily.

also if you're going to build a robot and use it to make money, why not just sell the robot?

This thread made me lolol

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April 18, 2011, 05:48:10 PM
 #42

You guys didn`t get Kiba's point: A ROBOT THAT DELIVERS THINGS!
That`s really cool!

Of course he doesn't care about the "that delivers things" part as much as he cares about the "a robot"

Are you just pretending not to be geek enough to get how cool that is?
Just make the robot dance around the block and it`ll be way cooler than a pizza-kid delivering stuff. =D

Of course I woudn`t trust the thing to bring me my weed and the robot wouldn`t be able to cross a street without being poked, stoped or stolen... but that`s not the point =D
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April 18, 2011, 05:52:50 PM
 #43

Perhaps for now we shouldn't worry about the robot providing its own locomotion. Why not have it hitch rides? Perhaps just a box that would only open for the intended recipients and destroy the contents if tampered with.

Otherwise, I like blimp-bots or pipe laying tunnel bots. The latter would allow for pneumatic delivery later on.

How about just a rocket with a robotic paraglider payload that deploys at apogee? The payload would glide to its destination. Seems like a good way to cover a large area.

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FatherMcGruder
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April 18, 2011, 06:11:18 PM
 #44

It must not be very windy where you live.

I vote for carpeting the Earth with nanobots which simply manufacture your order out of whatever is lying about.
It can be from time to time. I think the novelty of a robot courier service would overcome the weather imposed delays of airborne ideas. I suppose gliders would be better suited than blimps.

How about just robot carrier pigeons?

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April 18, 2011, 07:23:46 PM
 #45

On a related note, this robot is something many people will find useful.

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FatherMcGruder
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April 18, 2011, 08:01:39 PM
 #46

Quadricopters are probably best for urban environments where you'd need precise maneuverability to avoid collisions, but I was thinking of something a little longer distance, lower precision. I think we already have the technology at low enough prices to make drone mail possible in either case.

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FatherMcGruder
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April 18, 2011, 08:17:01 PM
 #47

If you are dropping packages your customers still need to be able to find them once delivered. That means precision maneuvering at low altitude, even if it is done over a long distance. What is your model for actually picking up and leaving a payload?
The drone would land on the receiver's lawn where he would remove his package, load another one if he wanted, and relaunch the drone to claim his deposit less any new sending fees. Folks could also sign up to be nodes to increase the range of the service.

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April 18, 2011, 10:05:04 PM
 #48

It must not be very windy where you live.
I vote for carpeting the Earth with nanobots which simply manufacture your order out of whatever is lying about.
If you nanobots idea works, every garbage landfill will become a gold mine.

Also if peak oil theory turns out to be true, this may be the best option.
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April 18, 2011, 11:47:33 PM
 #49

If the bots are going to propel themselves through the air in an urban or suburban environment, a quadricopter platform would work best. But for the most utility, I'd recommend something similar to a Harrier or Osprey like setup, but using at least four ducted propellers, thereby allowing the bots as much range and landing sites as possible.

I think this story is relevant: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/12/how-a-rc-airplane-buzzed-the-statue-of-liberty-with-no-arrests.ars

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April 19, 2011, 12:04:43 AM
 #50

It must not be very windy where you live.
I vote for carpeting the Earth with nanobots which simply manufacture your order out of whatever is lying about.
If you nanobots idea works, every garbage landfill will become a gold mine.

Also if peak oil theory turns out to be true, this may be the best option.

Except that said nanobots may just as soon use you for raw material as well...
me? nah. oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, cheap stuff.
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April 19, 2011, 12:29:48 AM
 #51

It would behoove the service's operators to have a few pilots ready to take control of bots that find themselves unable to negotiate a given circumstance.

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April 19, 2011, 12:40:56 AM
 #52

It would behoove the service's operators to have a few pilots ready to take control of bots that find themselves unable to negotiate a given circumstance.

Latest News: Drug carrying drone crashes into Brooklyn Bridge, spreading $1.5millionUSD of Cocaine on the road. Several motorists were seen to stop their vehicles and began snuffing the white powder before being taken by the previaling wind(the poweder) and later the police(the motorists). The developer of the drone believes that it was the use of a float instead of a precision decimal that caused the crash.

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April 20, 2011, 06:09:14 PM
 #53

Helicopters (including multirotors) are not efficient at all. Same thing with real helis versus airplanes. Helicopters' range is fairly limited.

Although its probably still good enough for, say, manhattan.

Other than that, building good robots/rc stuff generally takes a _lot_ of time and a _lot_ of money. I don't see this idea happening for a couple of years at least.
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April 20, 2011, 07:39:00 PM
 #54

Personally, I love the idea of flying, autonomous delivery services as much as the next guy, but I think this conversation needs some re-alignment.  The issue more presently at hand is that of a lack of decentralized distribution services.  I had an idea for such a system.

BitDrop.

Bitdrop would be a system for human "runners" to pass goods from person to person in the most cryptographically secure way possible. 

Person A negotiates a sale of an item to person B online.
Upon deciding on BitDrop as means of distribution, distance would be calculated and current gas prices would be tabulated.  This is the base shipping cost. 

Person A types in their "willing to travel" radius, and, the machine would chew on the data and randomly/securely spit back out an exact lat-lon point within that radius.

A nearby runner gets notified that a package is ready for distribution.  He's signed up with his own "willing to travel" radius as well.  Ideally, if there are enough warm bodies in the chain, the venn diagrams all start overlapping, and form a human supply chain.

Upon the completed transaction, all runners in the chain would receive good feedback (ideas for delivery confirmation? sms? scanned qr codes?), and get higher GPG rankings, which would enable them to deliver goods that had been marked with higher trust requirements...and likewise, the more you're trusted in in the chain, the more the runners can charge.  Seller wants to sell something of importance/high value? they can raise the trust threshold (and subsequently, the shipping rate)

As far as black market goods go, I've thought of this scenario.  The TOS for bitdrop would state specifically that transfer of illegal goods is strictly prohibited; however, you may anonymously mark your package "shaded" if you feel the contents pose risk for any member of the chain, including senders, receivers and most importantly, runners.  Shaded goods may be distributed exclusively via dead drops, and runners can opt into notifications of shaded packages, but only after a GPG trust threshold is passed, so a significant time expenditure is required before you go "googling for drugs".  You basically knowingly waive your rights when you deal with shaded transacations. That being said, I'm sure it would turn into a profitable venture for risk-takers, while keeping clean runners away from things that could land them in jail for trafficking.

There are other details I've thought of, including the distinction between dead drops and trusted drops.  Dead drops would be entry-points into the runner market.  Let's say I want to make some extra money, and I want to sign up as a runner.  I go to the bitdrop site and sign up for an entry-level position.  This requires that I pledge a deposit for the first item I'll deliver. This means that new runners will mainly focus on delivering items of little value.  It's a Low-risk, low-return scenario for everybody involved with the transaction.  Once I, the runner, complete my transaction, the deposit is returned to my account, as well as the base shipping cost + small delivery fee.  Part of becoming a runner is setting up GPG-Authentication. The buyer and seller then add ratings to my transaction, and after a threshold is reached, I'm allowed to forego placing a deposit on items of certain values or lower.  Eventually, dead drops would give way of chains with "trusted drops", where people who've established their trust arrange meetups based on encrypted lat-lon values and anonymous instructions. The specifics should be debated about at length to promote the safety and longevity of the chain Smiley

I don't expect my first ramblings to be the end-all-be-all of this system, but unless I'm way off base, I think the concept has potential.  I actually wrote up an extensive post detailing this idea yesterday, and stupidly hit f5 before I sent it, erasing my whole post instantly...  I'd love to hear feedback and concerns.

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April 20, 2011, 07:44:01 PM
 #55

Drone operators could participate in BitDrop too, no?

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skittixch
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April 20, 2011, 07:48:26 PM
 #56

sure!  They could be easily integrated into the system Cheesy
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April 20, 2011, 07:53:58 PM
 #57

Also, in addition to tracking trust, I think the system should also track reliability separately. A perfectly trustworthy person might be late for reasons beyond his control.

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skittixch
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April 20, 2011, 08:08:13 PM
 #58

when you say reliability, are you talking about timeliness specifically?  If so, perhaps the runner can designate a delivery schedule (available weekends, tuesdays after 8pm) kinda thing so everybody knows what sort of time-frame all the links in the chain are running on.  If the package needs to be delivered to the next runner or the destination before this runner can deliver it based on their schedule, they're opted out of the "delivery available" message all together.  

Likewise, if they agree to run a package and are late circumstantially, a negative mark should be considered.  If a theft occurs by a runner, the account will essentially self-destruct, and their deposit (if applicable) should be either given to seller, buyer, or donated to a fund to be voted on by the two.   At this point, criminal proceedings may occur.
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April 20, 2011, 08:27:25 PM
 #59

Yeah, but how would you do that with robots?

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April 20, 2011, 08:31:03 PM
 #60

when you say reliability, are you talking about timeliness specifically?  If so, perhaps the runner can designate a delivery schedule (available weekends, tuesdays after 8pm) kinda thing so everybody knows what sort of time-frame all the links in the chain are running on.  If the package needs to be delivered to the next runner or the destination before this runner can deliver it based on their schedule, they're opted out of the "delivery available" message all together. 

Likewise, if they agree to run a package and are late circumstantially, a negative mark should be considered.  If a theft occurs by a runner, the account will essentially self-destruct, and their deposit (if applicable) should be either given to seller, buyer, or donated to a fund to be voted on by the two.   At this point, criminal proceedings may occur.
I guess it's a semantic thing. Labeling people as untrustworthy when that isn't really the case doesn't sit well with me.

Yeah, but how would you do that with robots?
The same way, except the runners would be robots managed by an operator.

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