Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Google's robotic delivery system: technology for the sake of technology

Google has revealed it has taken over seven robotics companies in the past half a year and has begun hiring staff to develop its own product.
[...]
Instead, the newspaper suggests, Google's robots could be paired with its self-driving car research to help automate the delivery of goods to people's doors.
from Google robots may pose challenge to Amazon drones

This makes my proposed "last mile" monorail system that would facilitate the delivery of smaller items in just about any weather look feasible by comparison. My proposed system would consist of cars which would descend/ascend via winch, using support towers as guides, and which would be unleashed in waves with loads (or passengers) arranged in order of destination, so that the cars don't get in each other's way when they make a stop.  There would be special "runs" ("waves") reserved for foul-weather deliveries that couldn't wait, to give the delivery personnel time to make the trip from the tower-base to the address of interest. They might end up stuck behind a car stopped for a particularly time-consuming delivery, but they would have an assortment of enjoyable time-killers on-board, and they'd get paid for it. Naturally, anyone who holds up the process would be pressured to go faster, because time is money in the delivery business.

But until there's an automated rail/delivery system that can stop at every address, which will probably never happen because of the cost, the existing delivery system can't be beat for efficiency and the ability to handle every situation that arises.