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Author Topic: Business idea (Off-Topic, but looking for feedback)  (Read 4162 times)
Phinnaeus Gage
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February 28, 2012, 01:37:33 AM
 #41

How practical would it be to incorporate your idea with the bloom box? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcLq3B8C5sk

I'm assuming that this system is operated by electricity from off the grid. If that's the case, then eliminate the grid completely by having bloom box units either stationed along the line, part of the cargo container, or both.

~Bruno (not Bruno Edison)

It doesn't really matter where the power here comes from. There is also no power on the trains themselves, since they are mostly just chunks of steel and magnets. Using bloomboxes would be possible, but would add more complexity to a project that you can just plug into whatever nearby source of power is the cheapest.

I'm off to bed. Will reply to more questions tomorrow.

Hence the suggestion--cost. It is the cheapest option and shouldn't add that mush complexity to the project. In fact, I can envision the developer(s) of the bloom box working hand-in-hand with your project.
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February 28, 2012, 01:47:32 AM
 #42

I would prefer to have this be above ground to save on tunneling though, which is another reason I am pushing for "small."
"Small" also cuts down on the surface area exposed to oncoming air mass, resulting in greater speed potentials.

With an aerodynamic shape.

What was the maximum gross weight being transported, again?
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February 28, 2012, 05:14:16 AM
 #43

I would prefer to have this be above ground to save on tunneling though, which is another reason I am pushing for "small."
"Small" also cuts down on the surface area exposed to oncoming air mass, resulting in greater speed potentials.

With an aerodynamic shape.

What was the maximum gross weight being transported, again?


Five to ten tons. I can make the weight be whatever I want it to be, but one of these will transport one pallet, or about two refrigerator sized boxes.

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February 28, 2012, 05:23:22 AM
 #44

Not sure how much you know about the automated freight trains being used in the coal mining industry in Australia but certainly companies like BHP have a lot of money to spend and the resource boom is still going very strongly down under (so maybe some opportunities there).

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February 28, 2012, 05:27:42 AM
 #45

If trucks were taken off the Interstate system, there is at least a full lane that could be devoted to a two-way autonomous freight system. Container size does not need to much bigger than a coffin for most crap people buy. Trucks and trains can still be used for the few large items.

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February 28, 2012, 05:53:13 AM
 #46

The politics of making that a reality would bog it down into a painful misery.

Besides 3d printing may do away with shipping a lot of stuff. Imagine local 3D printing shops that have the raw materials and you design what you want from home, they print it and you pick it up and pay for it.

We are on the verge of some new and very disruptive technologies impacting the masses.  Nanotech being one. The significance is not realized by most but it hasn't gone unnoticed by defense industry and others.

But maybe your maglev could be used for moving raw materials.

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February 28, 2012, 02:35:14 PM
 #47

The politics of making that a reality would bog it down into a painful misery.

Besides 3d printing may do away with shipping a lot of stuff. Imagine local 3D printing shops that have the raw materials and you design what you want from home, they print it and you pick it up and pay for it.

We are on the verge of some new and very disruptive technologies impacting the masses.  Nanotech being one. The significance is not realized by most but it hasn't gone unnoticed by defense industry and others.

But maybe your maglev could be used for moving raw materials.

That's a good point. And with things like Skype becoming more mainstream, travel will be required less, too. Luckily, 3D printers are a very long way away from printing electronics, televisions, blenders, and refrigerators. It'll happen eventually though.

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February 28, 2012, 03:33:12 PM
 #48


It sounds like you need yourself a Lyle Lanley

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF_yLodI1CQ

Good luck to you... I have been wondering why we don't have automated delivery systems since I was a child... just takes someone crazy enough to believe to change things.

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February 28, 2012, 07:45:46 PM
 #49

Quote from: Rassah
Luckily, 3D printers are a very long way away from printing electronics, televisions, blenders, and refrigerators. It'll happen eventually though.

I urge you to look into 3D printing a little further. It's not that new. My point is that we are not a long way away at all. There's another name that it is called but I can't remember the term. I think it's additive engineering (as opposed to removal engineering).
They are doing human organs, engine parts and I've seen intricate items like a timepiece.

Don't forget any disruptive technology is going to get held back by tptb, but things move forward.

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February 28, 2012, 08:00:27 PM
 #50

I urge you to look into 3D printing a little further. It's not that new. My point is that we are not a long way away at all. There's another name that it is called but I can't remember the term. I think it's additive engineering (as opposed to removal engineering).
They are doing human organs, engine parts and I've seen intricate items like a timepiece.

I'm quite aware of 3D printing, and have followed it since it started with modified ink jet printers years ago. How long do you think it will be until we can print something like an iPad at home from scratch?

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March 01, 2012, 08:16:49 PM
 #51

Quote from: Rassah
I'm quite aware of 3D printing, and have followed it since it started with modified ink jet printers years ago. How long do you think it will be until we can print something like an iPad at home from scratch?

Before modified ink-jets they used a laser, to initiate polymerization in a bath of polymer, at the surface.
With the $$ that apple makes in ipads wouldn't expect that to happen soon.  But I have no idea.

With MEMS and other tech. like that it's conceivable that it goes past the printing paradigm and goes to a programmed additive engineering. Probably already a clever name for it. Similar to how a gene codes for an elbow tendon. Only all done via nano-bots. nanotech seems to have bored most people but it is likely the most disruptive tech. right now. It allows control of synthesis in amazing ways. Going a little astray.

Shipping things all over is very wasteful.  But apparently tptb like shipping.  I always thought that shipping music,movies in cds, dvds etc. was so odd.
Why didn't they just have a cd/dvd burner in a shop and burn a copy on an as-needed model. Now they wanted to retain control of the IP so shipping was their answer I guess. But they could have saved billions by having a cd/dvd burning kiosk that was physically secured.

My long winded point is that the politics of any large project is so complex now that tech. can leap over the initial idea.

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March 01, 2012, 08:25:38 PM
 #52

I think stamping and shipping things like plastic forks, spoons, and knives would actually still be cheaper than printing them at home. There is a lot of savings in customized specific production hardware over the universal generic one. Manor will eventually change that, but that won't happen for at least another 20 years.

Update on my project: I was going to meet with a VC group this Friday, but due to my state's budget going through legislation this week I can't take this Friday off, and need to stay in the office "on call." I am going to try to meet with them over Skype, but whoever is handling email at that department is very unresponsive. If that fails, I'll try again next week.

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March 04, 2012, 04:05:08 PM
 #53

In case anyone is interested in following the development (or total catastroflunk) of this project, I'll keep posting updates here.

Executive Summary is fleshed out. I wasn't able to meet with VCs this past Friday due to not being able to take off from work, so will try again next Friday. I fully expect costs ("especially in this economy") will be the main barrier to fight against to get this started. Hopefully I can get the university interested enough without giving up too many patent rights. The sad thing is, the actual inventor of this system is in pretty severe stages of Alzheimer and cancer, and will probably not survive the rest of this year, so one of my main goals also involves getting someone else involved in this well enough that they can understand and continue to develop this system. Although the basic construction and design are simple, the math involved is very complex and specialized, and it would be a tragedy if this system disappears from our collective knowledge for decades until someone rebuilds it from (admittedly badly) written instructions.
In the meantime, here's the finished Executive Summary:

Quote
The Pitch.
The internet is a great way to deliver digital goods, bouncing data along wires from hub to hub. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a similar system for physical goods? Turns out we already have the hubs – Wal-Mart’s distribution centers are an automated technological wonder – but the “wires” connecting these centers are slow, inefficient roads manned by cumbersome, expensive trucks. Our ultra-high-speed transport system will connect the already established distribution centers, with direct, fully automated, efficient, and cheap to operate lines.

Product.
Currently, to transport goods to distribution centers, trucks have to drive from one to the other by roads and highways. This method is slow, and susceptible to traffic issues, driver fatigue, and high costs of maintenance, fuel, and taxes. We (Tozoni AMLEV) propose to design and build customized high-speed transport lines between distribution centers. The system will consist of small, fully-automated cargo platforms, only big enough to carry a large refrigerator or a 3,000lb aircraft shipping container. The platforms will be gliding on the track using magnetic levitation technology, flying at 350 miles per hour, completely automatically. Once reaching their destination distribution centers, the cargo will be automatically offloaded and routed through the distribution center’s internal conveyor system to its next destination. Once multiple distribution centers are connected, the cargo will be able to bounce from center to center, being transported over vast distances cheaply, very quickly and completely automatically.

Value Proposition.
Tozoni AMLEV system is cheap to design due to using analytical calculations for all of its components (all aspects can be fully simulated on computers instead of on physical models). The system is also light and cheap to build, due to it being fully automated by design, as opposed to relying on complex control systems. Since the cargo platforms do not touch the track, and very few moving components are involved, there is very little maintenance required for the system. The system is also very energy efficient, using only electricity for propulsion, without friction, of small light platforms. Since the platforms can reach speeds of 350mph and beyond, it makes it possible to quickly ship only products that are needed, instead of waiting for a large truck to load up on everything that may be necessary in the direction it is going. Using smaller cargo platforms also means it is possible to use much lighter and cheaper track construction, including possibility of stacking tracks to reduce the land footprint.

Competitive Advantage.
Tozoni AMLEV system, including both suspension and propulsion components, is fully patented. Dr. Tozoni has many years of experience in mechanical and electrical engineering, was the Head of the Department of Electrodynamics at the Cybernetics Institute of the Academy of Science, USSR, and has published many books on mathematics and electromagnetics. The Tozoni AMLEV levitation system differs from all other levitation systems in that it is based on attractive force of permanent magnets, that all aspects of it can be fully analytically calculated and designed, as opposed to relying on trial and error, and is suspended automatically, without need for monitoring and control systems. The system is also fairly well known, and has a team of scientists and engineers very interested in being involved with or helping with its construction.

The Marketing Plan.
The Immediate goal is to build a single transport line between two distribution centers separated by desert or farm land (to keep the costs of land down). (Example: Wal-Mart distribution Center in Chyenne, Wyoming to one in North Platte, Nebraska, 200 miles down center of highway). Our target segment is any market interested in transporting small to medium physical goods. Initially, the system will target retail distribution centers, allowing the first two connected centers to operate as one. This means cargo trucks will only be required to deliver their goods to the distribution center closest to their point of origin, instead of having to go to both centers. Eventually, once we connect more distribution centers, the interconnected automated network should be able to support delivery of all of the retail goods among the centers, and the center operator should be able to take on outside business, such as mail and parcel delivery, or any delivery of physical goods.

We believe that despite the high initial cost of construction, the finished product, with its very high speed and extremely low operating cost, will be able to easily compete with existing delivery methods, and make up the cost of construction through high profit margins.

The Financial Plan.
Tozoni AMLEV will need approximately $400,000 to build the initial proof-of-concept test model within 6 months of initial funding. The system design and parameters have already been analytically calculated, and the initial funding will go to consulting services for Dr. Friedman of Drexel University (he is a student, of a student, of Dr. Tozoni), and for engineering and manufacturing of the test model by Oceaneering Inc., a local MD engineering firm familiar with the project. Once the physical test model verifies the analytical calculation results, a further $500,000 will be required to design and engineer the platforms themselves. During that period, we will scout locations of potential distribution centers 100+ miles apart, secure required land, and negotiate deals with the distribution center operators. In the first half of 2013 we will build a 2 mile test track, preferably on the location where the final track will be used. The system costs approximately $4MM per mile of track, and approximately $90,000 per platform, although we think we may be able to reduce costs by using cheaper support materials (estimates are based on a 30ton cargo container system requiring heavy concrete support). During that time, funding will also be needed for final design tests, which should be completed by the end of 2013 or earlier. Construction of the finished line should be completed by mid-to-end of 2015. At initial launch of the system, the system is expected to be used at near capacity, working as both a bridge between two distribution centers, and a bridge between two parts of the country (trucks can save money by dropping goods off at one center, and have them be picked up by another truck at the next center, even if the final destination for the goods isn’t one of the two centers). After proof of concept and a strong positive revenue stream, a portion of the revenues will be used to secure and develop lines between other distribution centers.

Dingman resources will be used, along with Maryland Technology Commercialization funding, to set up a lab at the University of Maryland, where students will participate in further developing the system, including building the initial test model. Part of the funding for the main project will be raised from the government’s technology research and green initiative programs, and the rest through private funding. We also expect to get local government tax subsidies for providing a system that will ease traffic on their roads.

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March 04, 2012, 06:26:18 PM
 #54

Personally, I think that divided highways should not be split by direction, but by the type of traffic it carries. Professionally driven truck trains on one side and the drunks driving SUVs on the other. just sayin.

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March 04, 2012, 06:40:11 PM
 #55

At the very least there should be a "drunk lane", lined with tires so it's like bumper bowling. Student drivers could use it as well.

Quote
Drunk driving creates a total loss of $9 billion per year or 16 cents per mile driven in the U.S.
http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=7888

Quote
A mile of freeway through an urban area costs approximately $39 million, while a mile of freeway through a rural area costs approximately $8 million.
http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-14011-28076--F,00.html

Not financially viable though.
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March 04, 2012, 09:58:06 PM
 #56

Quote
A mile of freeway through an urban area costs approximately $39 million, while a mile of freeway through a rural area costs approximately $8 million.
http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-14011-28076--F,00.html

Ooh, thanks for this! Definitely useful info for me!

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March 21, 2012, 08:56:43 PM
 #57

Just an update on what's going on.
I met with my University's "Entrepreneurship Center" on March 9th (http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/dingman/). Got some good feedback there. They also asked why not people, since cargo doesn't need to be fast. Good point about cargo usually not requiring fast transport, but sadly people here just don't really use trains. Other suggestion is to focus on perishables (apparently McDonalds has distribution networks, too, for example), or on Just-In-Time manufacturing places.
The three areas of development to possibly focus on are as a:

Feature - sell it as a distribution component for an already established distribution system around a campus, such as the Detroit car parts and assembly campus
Product - sell it directly to Wal-Mart as a replacement for their current trucking system
Platform - develop it as an independently owned transportation network, and let whoever needs to transport things use it. Other businesses can develop then their business around this platform.

Next steps are to assemble a team, and pitch to things like Wal-Mart Business Challenge, MIPS, and one I am currently pursuing, ACC Clean Energy Challenge (http://www.accnrg.org)
I'm in the process of looking for team members (found at least one) and using a very nice resource called CoFoundersLab (http://goo.gl/dLKab) to look for people. Submission deadline for ACC is the 23rd, so I'm kinda scrambling.
A website (very basic) for the tech is set up at http://www.amlevtrans.com/, and final draft of Executive Summary is here http://sg.sg/GDIDKT. I really need to update that site though (never have the time), and probably upload the "manual" for the tech, which we had to keep off the site until our patent was approved.

I also need to come up with a different name. My grandparents called it Amlev (American Type of Maglev), but this system really shouldn't be limited to America, and despite by grandparents' patriotism, I really think the name should reflect the inventor, Tozoni, rather than the country he liked. So, I'm thinking Tozoni MAGLEV, or something simple/similar would be good.

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March 21, 2012, 09:01:57 PM
 #58

Very nice site, hope you are able to get somewhere with this as it appears to be an excellent design/idea.

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July 11, 2012, 03:03:19 PM
 #59

Bump because I see Rassah is online and I would be interested in an update.

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July 11, 2012, 03:37:49 PM
 #60

Bump because I see Rassah is online and I would be interested in an update.

I didn't get anything out of that Clean Energy Challenge thing, but was pointed to a few programs within University of Maryland that I should interview with and apply for. I met with the representatives of those programs around mid May. They suggested I apply for one of their tech development grants in the fall, but to do that I need to incorporate, since grants are not given out to individual people directly. Working on incorporating now (by which I mean I have been sitting on my butt for the last few weeks, enjoying the free time since I graduated, and just now thinking "Oh crap! Summer's half way over!"). Since it's summer vacation, the university hasn't been any help with that process, so having to figure that out on my own.
Also, Dr. Tozoni, the inventor (and my grandfather), passed away on June 1st, so that kinda sucked Sad
On the plus side, one of his students, who since coming to this country has refused to help and maybe saw Dr. Oleg as competition, attended the funeral and the commemorative dinner last night, and we actually became acquaintances. My parents seem to have gotten very friendly with him and his wife, too, in part because he used to be Tozoni's long time friend, and spent many years with him back in USSR (my mother has interest in someone who knew her father so well). The huge benefit of that is that he was Dr. Tozoni's student, understands all the tech behind the invention, recognizes just how big Dr. Tozoni was, AND he's a high ranking professor at University of Maryland, with a lot of recognition and awards. Before, I avoided mentioning him completely during my discussions with university out of fear that he would sabotage my progress. Now, maybe I will be able to use him as a reference, and a word from him would be a HUGE benefit. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

So, in summary, need to incorporate, then apply for funding, and in the mean time maybe polish the website a bit.

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