Delivery bots instead of delivery drones?

Delivery bots instead of delivery drones?

How one company is betting on ground-based autonomous delivery solutions (delivery bots) to buck the airborne delivery drones trend. Unmanned Cargo Delivery Concept – Chronicle 23   Skype Co-Founders Launch The Starship ‘Ground Drone’ For Deliveries (November 5, 2015) (Editor’s Note: Are wheeled ground drones traveling along on city sidewalks a more realistic alternative to aerial drones for autonomous last mile deliveries? Maybe. It all depends in what environment they will operate. Gated communities, university campuses and retirement villages are likely candidates…) What the Article Chronicles:  According to Strategy&, by 2035 we will be living in a world where 1/6 of the cars on the road are driverless and 4 to 6 deliveries per week are made by drones. A world where brick and mortar stores will function more like distribution centers complete with rooftop landing pads for UAVs and garages for driverless delivery vehicle fleets. So it doesn’t come as a surprise to hear that two former co-founders of Skype, already experienced in “disrupting” traditional industries, have created an Estonian start-up that will produce small ground-based autonomous drones that look “like a fridge on wheels with blinking LED lights”. The goal? To deliver groceries and other small goods in a way that will satisfy the e-customers constant desire for instant gratification services. The terrestrial 6-wheeled concept will likely be able to deliver about 2 grocery bags worth of cargo – 20 lb (9 kg) within 5 to 30 minutes at 1/10 to 1/15 the price of conventional delivery. A mobile app would allow customers to track their delivery. The same app would allow them to unlock the Starship,...
Delivery Drone Service Concepts – Lifting Railroad Freight Containers with Cargo Container Stacking Drones

Delivery Drone Service Concepts – Lifting Railroad Freight Containers with Cargo Container Stacking Drones

Delivery Drone Service Concepts – Lifting Railroad Freight Containers  Can delivery drones be used in other areas besides home delivery? Are Cargo Container Stacking Drones (CCSDs) feasible? Unmanned Cargo Delivery Concept – Chronicle 22 The benefits of automation – higher productivity, reduced cost and increased safety – are very alluring, particularly in places of very busy logistics activities such as railroad yards (or ports) where if something goes wrong during the handling and stacking of freight containers, they can become bottlenecks affecting the entire supply chain. Given that the transportation of containers by rail is significantly growing (particularly in places like China) there will be a need to further automatize and speed up the handling and stacking of freight containers in railyards.  Automation of gantry cranes is already becoming commonplace, but how about the other transport agents such as reach stackers? Could a reach stacker be programmed to handle and stack containers autonomously? Taking it a step further, could drones do the trick? As mentioned in a previous post, drones can theoretically already deliver a 4,000 lb car to your driveway so why could they not theoretically deliver the 62,170 lb (28,200 kg) payload of 20-foot freight containers? What would it take to make these drones a reality? The basics of the technology needed do appear to already exist. Precise positioning systems would have to be integrated into these drones to help them measure dimensions and contours of the containers to be transported. Unmanned gantry cranes can position containers within +/- 50 mm. The technology already exists, so it would just be a matter of shrinking and integrating the technology...
Driverless Mining Trucks in the Australian Outback – The Truck of the Future?

Driverless Mining Trucks in the Australian Outback – The Truck of the Future?

Will driverless truck become the norm? Unmanned Cargo Delivery Concept – Chronicle 19 Rio Tinto shifts to driverless trucks in Australia  (October 19, 2015) (Editor’s Note: Rio Tinto’s Komatsu Autonomous Haulage System trucks in action can be found here. A similar video created by Hitachi trucks can be found here.) The Rio Tinto mining company certainly thinks so. Similar in scope (but not necessarily in size) to the Daimler Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz Actros autonomous truck concepts, the British-Australian mining group currently operates a fleet of 69 automated trucks collectively moving approximately 20 million tons of iron ore per month at the Yandicoogina and Nammuldi mine sites in Pilbara, Western Australia. By eliminating breaks, shift changes and absenteeism, their “autonomous fleet outperforms its manned fleet by an average of 12 percent”, states their iron ore chief executive, Andrew Harding. Automatization improves utilization efficiency and thus reduces haulage costs and capital expenditure costs. Industry insiders estimate each autonomous mining truck can save 500 work hours per year. Official Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) / Drone Name: Autonomous Haulage System (AHS), part of the Rio Tinto “Mine of the Future” program launched back in 2008. Operation Specifics: In operation, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Remotely supervised by a control center 1,200 km (750 miles) away in Perth, Australia. The autonomous trucks depend on GPS directions, Lidar and millimeter wave radar to deliver their loads. Future Applications: Autonomous Haulage Systems are here to stay as the world’s biggest miners turn to technology to cut costs and increase profits. These unmanned trucks will be used in cooperation with Rio Tinto’s “AutoHaul”, their fully-autonomous heavy haul, long distance railway...
Self-balancing Unicycle Parcel Delivery Drones – The Transwheel Concept

Self-balancing Unicycle Parcel Delivery Drones – The Transwheel Concept

Small Unicycle Delivery Drones, Big Impact Alone Or In Packs – The Transwheel Idea Unmanned Cargo Delivery Concept – Chronicle 14   Transwheel, the delivery drone that doesn’t fly  (August 16, 2015) (Editor’s Note: Nifty concept video can be found in YouTube: Futuristic Delivery Drone Robot by Kobi Shikar/ All images belong to Kobi Shikar) What the Article Chronicles:  When people talk about parcel delivery drones, what comes to mind is Amazon’s Prime Air service. However, there are other potential autonomous cargo drone alternatives to having hundreds of flying UAVs filling up our skies within Amazon’s aerial drone superhighway as part of the quest to deliver eCommerce purchases within 30 minutes or less. Designed by Israeli industrial design student Kobi Shikar, the Transwheel concept is best described as a self-balancing, unicycle parcel delivery robot drone which has a vague resemblance to Universal Pictures’ Minions. (Editor’s Note: At least that is the first thing I think about when I look at the pictures). Official UAV / Drone Name: Transwheel delivery drone Basic Unmanned Cargo Vehicle (UCV) / Drone Description:  Autonomous robotic wheel with self-balancing system, electric arms, obstacle detection cameras, GPS navigation system and a robust communication system that allows it to operate either alone to deliver small parcels or as a group to deliver full-size cargo containers.  Additional features would include facial recognition hardware to identify and confirm package recipients, as well as LED lights that would allow the drones to deliver packages at night.   Payload/ Range / Speed: No information on payload capacity, range or speed is available as the Transwheel is still in the concept stage. However, the...
Autonomous Freight Truck in the U.S.

Autonomous Freight Truck in the U.S.

The Daimler Fully Automatic, Driverless Freight Truck Unmanned Cargo Delivery Concept – Chronicle 03 World’s First Unmanned Unmanned Freight Truck to Barrel Down America’s Highways: Meet the Fully-Automated ‘Inspiration Truck’ (May 06, 2015) (Editor’s Note: The Daimler Freightliner Inspiration Truck is the first licensed autonomous commercial truck to operate in American highways) What the Article Chronicles: The Freightliner Inspiration Truck has a Level 3 autonomous vehicle operating system that enables the driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain traffic or environmental conditions. Using cameras and radars, as well as lane stability, collision avoidance, speed control, smart braking and intelligent steering systems, this autonomous freight truck can stay within the proper highway lane and legal speed limits as well as maintain a safe braking distance from other vehicles, thus allowing it to safely slow down or stop as traffic conditions change. In certain situations (such as when the truck exits the highway, drives on local roads or attempts to dock at a warehouse) the driver is always in control. The Inspiration Truck also showcases Daimler’s platooning technology. When “Highway Pilot” is turned on, two or more properly equipped trucks can use vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology to automatically reduce the gap between them to about 25 feet (7.6 meters),  locking them into platoon formation thus using up to 6 percent less diesel than when trucks are traveling by themselves. A very detailed review of all the highlights, innovations and amenities of the Daimler Freightliner Inspiration Truck can be found at the TopSpeed website by clicking here. Official UGV / Drone Name: Daimler Freightliner Inspiration Truck Mission: To improve fuel consumption, reduce...

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