Drone-based efficient items sharing

(Jorge Fuentes) #1


My name is Jorge and I am a new member in this amazing community. This is actually my first post.

I have an idea that deals with the incoming sharing economy, which in my personal opinion is crucial for the eventually settled seasteading community.

In the seasteading island, the optimization of resources would be a basic concern. We would need to avoid importing as much material as possible, and we would need to avoid generating as much waste as possible too.

My proposal is a system in which we could share basic everyday items such as DIY tools, staplers, gaming stuff… all kind of objects that everyone likes to possess at home, although we use it infrequently enough to be shared.

For this, all this kind of objects would be registered in a system in which each of them would have an IoT device attached (a sticker containing its identification, and some other needed information).

The system would work as follows:

Lets say you need an object for a specific purpose. Then you would have to pick up your smartphone and use the corresponding App for selecting the object and order it. Then, a drone would fly to the location where the last person used it, it would pick it up, and fly to your home.

The system would register who used it last, if it is being already used, and would let users to rate the good usage of the previous holder.

Comments/reviews are more than welcome. If this idea has sufficient acceptance, I would develop some basic documentation + drawings explaining the system in more detail.

Thanks for reading!

(Sheldon Robertson) #2

That’s a good idea. We could use it for vessel /infrastructure repair tools and the like too. Say your bilge pump goes down and you need a strap wrench…

(Jorge Fuentes) #3

Sure! The infrastructure (physical+software) would have so much applications…

The main idea is to optimize resources taking advantage of the state-of-the-art technology capabilities. I considered home items sharing as the most practical usage, but there would be infinite possibilities!

(Mark Stephan) #4

Yep - great idea. We had some brief discussion about drone transport recently. Do you know what the current range is? If the seastead has multiple units/families/etc., then I could see something locally as simple as a tool share, but between seasteads separated by water, seasteads to the shore, etc. drone tech could be very useful in doing automated transport.

(Chad Elwartowski) #5

Sounds like a great idea. One difficulty I can see is that you want to use something, the drone goes to the last person who used it and they’re not home.

I think a lot could be solved with a central location where items are returned after use, but a decentralized solution is usually the best route.

To solve that, I can see having a lock box outside of the users homes where the drone flies up and uses a digital key to release the item for the next user.

Though I can see someone having their box fill up as they use a lot of things that other people do not use and you get back to the problem of having too much stuff.

(Sheldon Robertson) #6

If I want range I would go with semi rigid airships. Helium isn’t all that expensive, and custom designing avionics for a blimp would be easier than for a vtol heavier than air craft. Already I’m thinking about using sea water as ballast. It can automagically empty ballast as it is loaded, and take on ballast through a dropped hose as it is unloaded.

(Sheldon Robertson) #7

If a drop box reaches capacity then the drone could just rearrange the items when it isn’t doing anything else.

(Sheldon Robertson) #8

Also mount a lightweight radar or communications system on the drone, it’s already airborne anyway.

(Mark Stephan) #9

cool idea to use airships vs. heli/quadcopters

(Jorge Fuentes) #10

@MarkStephan Thanks for replying. Honestly I haven’t seen the discussion about drones yet. I will check it out!

@Elwar I had thought about a lock box outside homes too. More concretely, what I thought was a lock box that would only open when a drone arrives and confirms that it will pick up an object. Mi idea was that objects would be stored in cloth bags with some kind of hook in order to let the drone grab it easily. Cloth bags would have an IoT device attached to in order to ensure items transfer security.

@MarkStephan @OIF12B10B6 What I had thought about range was that , as the system would know the distance between 2 points, there would be different layers in traffic as a function of distance ranges: the more close 2 points are, the more low the flight would be.

However, these are provisional solutions. Let’s keep on discusing it! :smile:

(Sheldon Robertson) #11

Back when I was a neocon like admnelson, I had this idea about networked radar systems mounted to carbon fiber blimps. Only one active at any time, the others listening, using directional burst transmitting microwave laser communications to talk to the forward air controller. If one drone gets shot down, any one random drone picks up instantly. Since the drone blimps are carbon fiber they have the same radar cross section as a butterfly unless they are actively searching. Alas I am not an electrical engineer, and only have 37 dollars in the bank so if it ever happens, I will never see royalty check.

(Chad Elwartowski) #12

I have done some work with the military using drones and blimps for communications.

(Chad Elwartowski) #13

Good idea.

I think the prevalence of drones could make our lives a lot different than we’re used to.

(Jorge Fuentes) #14

That’s great Chad!

I wanted to contact the Openpilot community guys for this, I discovered them today. Do you know something about them? https://www.openpilot.org/

I really believe in this idea, hope we could work together in it.

(Mark Stephan) #15

There’s some great potential for autonomous hive/swarm communications between drones to optimize route, etc. Include weather management so they don’t start off and not be able to make it due to poor weather. One concern, is would people wait for the drones to pass, shoot them down, then collect what was being sent? We’d have to have them out of range of firearms.
That being said, though, have some sort of inflatable system, such that if it goes into free fall, it inflates and prevents the cargo from sinking

(Sheldon Robertson) #16

When I was daydreaming about radar drones and such, I was thinking of military use. I suppose someone could shoot a drone down to steal stuff but it would be pretty hard to do consistently. Just get it up to 300 feet or so. A 1 meter, moving target is more than most people can hit anyway, let alone a hundred yards in the air.

(Jorge Fuentes) #17

Well, my idea for that is that the drones would be equipped with cameras. They would sent images in real-time to a server and data would be erased unless some strage event occurs.

(Sheldon Robertson) #18

They will need radio and audio/sonar distress signals which automatically deploy in case of incident. As well as airbags to both protect the cargo, and provide buoyancy incase of water landing. Like the mars rover.

(Sheldon Robertson) #19

It sounds like a lot but can be done inexpensively. The distress signal, for instance, only needs to be a simple repeating pattern on a set frequency in radio and audio. Use a system similar to inflatable life rafts for the crash bags.

(Jorge Fuentes) #20

That sounds cool Sheldon! Where can I see more info about that?