Author Topic: Drone Delivery - where it will start  (Read 883 times)

surfcowboy

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2460
    • View Profile
Drone Delivery - where it will start
« on: March 07, 2017, 06:59:10 PM »
Surffoils inspired this in another thread and I didn't want to hijack his thread.

The question that always comes up is, "How will drones deliver things without causing huge liability issues?"

Like everything, this won't be something that happens overnight in the world's most populous areas but I have the perfect place and scenario that it will happen and soon.

I'm posting so we can see if I'm an idiot or a genius in 4 years.

On the North shore of Kauai and Oahu there are resorts that are anywhere from 10 to 20 miles from a store or restaurant and those miles are on 2 lane highways. There's your first huge liability win. Way more people killed delivering by car or bike than any drone.

Next, you have stores and restaurants in both areas that have easy access to open ocean routes to the hotels. A drone takes off and is almost instantly over water the whole way.

At the beachfront resort, there can be a small path for the water to the landing pad where guests are encourage to be careful and not sit on the beach there. The drone comes in, crosses 50-100 ft of beach and is met by an employee who is notified by app when the drone nears the resort.

Cargo unloaded, app notifies the drone that its ok to return. End of transaction.

If you think I wouldn't pay $10-$20 to not drive 45 min to the store when I'm on vacation, you don't know me or a lot of people.

That flight range is within current imagination and a 10 lb payload is do-able as well in a drone that would fit this use case and price structure.

If you've visited one of these resorts you already know that this is not only viable, it's probably overdue as far as customers are concerned.

My place in the desert also has a flight plan that would avoid almost all human contact and most any Friday night I'd pay a good bit for a pizza sent 5 miles as the crow flies instead of 15 by car.

I'd love to hear more feedback on this but I think that this is one of the best places for this to start.

Bean

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2522
    • View Profile
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 08:15:06 PM »
Weight not withstanding, if the pizza box is bigger than the span on the drone will it still fly? ;D

Sorry, spent the last half hour gluing the neck seal on my dry suit...

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 18559
    • View Profile
    • Ponohouse is for sale. Great house but it's time for new adventures
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 11:41:39 PM »
The technology for drones is advancing at a rate so fast that it's hard to follow.  If your experience with drones comes from a year ago, it's not relevant. Mine wasn't. A year ago I would have thought "yeah, sure delivery is feasible, but we're a long way away from anything useful. Now I'd say "what's holding this up"? Simply flying a semi-commercial drone like the Inspire2 makes it obvious that these things can do serious stuff, and do it with a very high degree of precision and reliability. Your paperboy can get the newspaper on your porch half the time. A drone can drop it dead center of your doormat--every time.

The newest GPS technology, called RTK (Real time kinematic) allows positioning within two centimeters (typically 1.9cm) from a single satellite and a local reference station--that's less than an inch for you metrically challenged folks. That makes your doormat a very large landing area.

A few years ago we were fiddling with fundamental control parameters (PID--proportional–integral–derivative) to make a drone stable. Now I don't know what the heck they are doing, but stability and control precision has taken a moonshot leap. My inspire2 can fly 60 MPH, handle 40kt gusting wind, carry a one pound camera and position it anywhere as firmly as a good tripod, and do all that for 25 minutes. And it's hobby level. semi pro. You could pull it out of the box, McIver some kind of a rack, tweak software and do local two or three pound deliveries. I'm tempted to do that just for fun.

The form and facial recognition software on new drones is already freaky good. I had no idea the system could pick out a specific face, lose it in a crowd, and then pick it back up again. It knows what a car is. It knows how high the porch roof is overhead, and how to get back out through the entrance. It won't fly into stuff, This is all things you kind of have to experience to understand. I can easily see ten or twenty drones being supervised by one operator. and later no operators. The more drones that are flying delivery and other functions, the faster the machines will learn and the more they will know. Deep learning is a really powerful tool.

So yeah, it's coming. Actually, it's here. The future is always here, it's just unevenly distributed.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 11:48:32 PM by PonoBill »
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

Admin

  • Administrator
  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 3784
    • View Profile
    • StandUpZone
    • Email
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2017, 03:33:24 AM »
Next up?


Night Wing

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 956
    • View Profile
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2017, 07:10:58 AM »
I'm not convinced drone delivery is going to replace UPS, FedEX, etc. Right now, I think drone delivery is just a fad.

With the above said, lets get down to specifics. Just how much weight can a drone carry and what are the specifications in size can a drone handle pertaining to flight? How about throwing in some weather conditions like "rain". How is rain going to affect drone delivery?
SUP Sports Hammer: 8'11" x 31" x 4" @ 140 Liters

Admin

  • Administrator
  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 3784
    • View Profile
    • StandUpZone
    • Email

stoneaxe

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 10539
    • View Profile
    • Cape Cod Bay Challenge
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2017, 08:03:22 AM »
Already delivering medical supplies in hard to reach villages in Africa. 10 years from now we'll all be complaining about the incessant bussing noise.
Bob

8-4 Vec, 9-0 SouthCounty, 9-8 Starboard, 10-4 Foote Triton, 10-6 C4, 12-6 Starboard, 14-0 Vec (babysitting the 18-0 Speedboard) Ke Nalu Molokai, Ke Nalu Maliko, Ke Nalu Wiki Ke Nalu Konihi

Night Wing

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 956
    • View Profile
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2017, 08:25:57 AM »
@Admin

How about a little Devil's Advocate?

That human drone prototype. I can see all the good stuff for it. But what happens if the drone carrying the human malfunctions? Would the human inside of the drone have to take control of the drone?

If yes, then would the FAA chime in and say any human in a human carrying drone would have to have a pilots license in case something goes wrong?

And if a human inside acting as a passenger, should a drone of this type crash....wouldn't that open up a lawsuit for the human drone carrying company which owns the drone?

I guess what I'm trying to say, there are ramifications, both good and bad, for this new technology.
SUP Sports Hammer: 8'11" x 31" x 4" @ 140 Liters

Night Wing

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 956
    • View Profile
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2017, 08:42:55 AM »
Already delivering medical supplies in hard to reach villages in Africa. 10 years from now we'll all be complaining about the incessant bussing noise.

I've seen news stories about the delivering medical supplies to reach villages in Africa. But in the video story, those supplies were small packages.

As for the incessant buzzing noise a drone would make. It all depends on where the drone is, what it is doing and for how long it is doing it. Some people don't take kindly to have a drone park over their house for awhile if you get my drift. The link below is a good example.

http://www.wdrb.com/story/29650818/hillview-man-arrested-for-shooting-down-drone-cites-right-to-privacy

Now the dude got arrested in the state of Kentucky because he was inside of a city limit. But outside of a city limit in a rural area here in my home state of Texas, I bet the guy would get acquitted if it went to a jury trial.



SUP Sports Hammer: 8'11" x 31" x 4" @ 140 Liters

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 18559
    • View Profile
    • Ponohouse is for sale. Great house but it's time for new adventures
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2017, 09:30:23 AM »
A human could not manually control the drone. The reason it is possible to have a drone flying service is because it can be autonomous. A skilled helicopter pilot cannot directly and manually control a drone, they require some level of stability control just to stay in the air. When you see someone flying a drone "manually" what they actually have control of is direction, attitude, and power.

If the autonomous controls failed a human could drive the thing. If the stability control failed it would fall out of the sky no matter who the passenger was. Fortunately, stability control is fairly simple and there can be backups to the backup. Ultimately the autonomous drone would be substantially safer and more reliable than a human controlled aircraft. Reactions to issues are predictable with automation, not with humans. The vehicle would remain in prescribed flight paths, continuously improve performance through deep learning and would share all the capability and learning with all connected vehicles.

Don't get me wrong, I don't look at this with rose-colored glasses, I'm just speaking from a systems standpoint. Humans are unpredictable and highly variable in skill level and knowledge. Their response to stuff like this is the major unknown. These things won't fail because they don't work better than people doing the equivalent task. But they could fail because people are illogical.

The noise issue cracks me up. A drone appears over your house, momentarily hovers and delivers a package, then leaves. Total stay time probably twenty seconds. Or a UPS driver pulls up in a diesel truck, spends three minutes, then leaves. Which is noisier?

Package size and weight is what is driving Amazon and everyone else trying to do drone delivery. Last mile delivery is about 30 percent of the cost of package transport. 80 percent of packages are less than five pounds.  The total cost for package delivery in the USA is about $1.4 Trillion dollars. Do the math.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 09:41:25 AM by PonoBill »
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

Bean

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2522
    • View Profile
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2017, 11:45:43 AM »
I guess they don't really have to be flying-drones; last mile delivery might in some cases be better accomplished by robots.  Out of my way puny human!

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 18559
    • View Profile
    • Ponohouse is for sale. Great house but it's time for new adventures
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2017, 11:48:57 AM »
of course. The drones don't have to fly.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

tautologies

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1671
    • View Profile
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2017, 12:23:28 PM »
I guess they don't really have to be flying-drones; last mile delivery might in some cases be better accomplished by robots.  Out of my way puny human!

Now I think this type of drone is a lot closer than the commonly understood flying drone.
Self-driving cars will take the products from warehouse to house. Drone from car to porch. 3 to 10 years in highly populated areas. It'll start without the drone bit first. I am assuming in the same area that Amazon is already offering same day delivery....and yeah between uber and amazon I think amazon is the one to deploy this in a way this is scalable.

Admin

  • Administrator
  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 3784
    • View Profile
    • StandUpZone
    • Email
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2017, 01:53:43 PM »
UPS is in the hunt.


PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 18559
    • View Profile
    • Ponohouse is for sale. Great house but it's time for new adventures
Re: Drone Delivery - where it will start
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2017, 02:28:27 PM »
Think smaller. Bob might remember my sophmore year science project--an autonomous robot for gathering telemetry data. Used a plastic baby bathtub for a lower body and a bucket for the head. I think I was fifteen when I built it--55 years ago. It was hardly autonomous except it carried its navigation instructions on board--in a radio shack portable reel to reel tape recorder with fidelity so low I had to use sine waves at widely different frequencies to give instructions. The distortion was so bad that audio got clipped and acted like square waves, which act like waves of all integer frequency multiples of the base frequency. Learned a bit about fourier synthesis by crashing my not so independent robot into all kinds of stuff.

Two years later I tried the same thing with a submarine that never got finished. the first edition sunk on launch. Note to self--start in shallow water.

If I built one now at 70 it would be completely autonomous and more obedient than our dog Zack.

Anyway, sparkfun has an annual autonomous robot challenge at their headquarters. Geek fiesta. A lot of the entries could deliver a package. You'd have to trust the 'hood though. Easy to hijack a little delivery robot. Those little robots scuttling around in Star Wars are closer than we might think. Couple of edison modules and some vision/radar/lidar and it's off to the street.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 02:31:35 PM by PonoBill »
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

 


* Recent Posts

* Recent Topics