Dronenet

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= a “short distance drone delivery service built on an open protocol".

Discussion

Jon Evans:

"Just as shipping containers (and pallets) revolutionized shipping, the Dronenet will need standard-sized, interchangeable, reusable smart Droneboxes. (Which in turn every self-respecting 3D printer will be able to crank out pretty much from scratch.) They will be to the Dronenet what packets are to the Internet.

If I may step back into a slightly philosophical stance, this would actually be quite a striking development. People have been talking and speculating about the “Internet Of Things” for so long that it has actually threatened to become a little boring before it even begins to exist. Until now my assumption has always been that the Internet-Of-Things mostly just meant ubiquitous Internet connectivity coming to things that already exist in the physical world. But the Dronenet would be different: The Dronenet, if it happens, would instead be an instance of the physical world becoming more like the Internet.

Will it actually happen? Who knows? It may become yet another beautiful notion slain by that tragic assassin named economics. Or niche Dronenets may arise in a handful of places around the world where they make economic sense, but fail to ever quite mesh into, well, a world-wide web.

My greatest concern, though, is not economic but political: it’s that someone will start packing drones full of Semtex and sending them after political targets." (http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/05/matternet-enter-the-dronenet/)

Example

ARIA - Autonomous Roadless Intelligent Array

Arturo Pelayo Aréchiga:

(co-founder of ARIA)

"As for Matternet, a team of 18 people worked on an open source concept for many weeks culminating a presentation and proof-of-concept using two arduino powered UAVs we assembled and bought from Chris Anderson's DIY Drones store. Massimo Banzi also shared this in his February 2012 TEDtalk as an example of an Arduino project (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoBUXOOdLXY).

We believed during the time of GSP that 3D printing would be an integral part of the shipping container 'hubs' because we saw them as an "on demand Home Depot". Parts inside each of the retrofitted shipping containers could be 3D printed and delivered to an end customer via drone to the GPS coordinates of their cellphone where they placed the order from (dynamic location). [This ultimately became part of a collaboration we started with ReAllocate in San Francisco that eventually became "Project Blue Sky" and showcased at the Burning Man Festival in August 2012.]

The original concept of "Matternet" was an open protocol/ open source framework to enable hackers, DIYers, makers, etc. take on the concept and amplify it to however they best saw could solve a problem in their community or a business opportunity. Thus enabling people to build their own clusters and building "the Matternet" together.

After the Graduate Studies Program ended, half of the team understood "Matternet" to be a technology concept just like "the Internet" happens to be. No one company invented the Internet, hundreds of people build different companies, concepts, software, search engines, infrastructure and legislation to make it evolve over decades.

The "disagreement" came to be since Singularity University did not perceive "the Matternet" to be a technology concept, but a brand. Because it was treated like a brand, it was licensed to the other half of the original team members who within the team wanted to build hardware and software together for both proprietary/"undisclosed" vehicle design and ground station design (UAS). This is our fundamental difference: At ARIA, we believe there are hundreds of manufacturers of drones (with hundreds of filed patents). Also, none of these drones can talk to each other right now.

We came up with the name ARIA because it symbolizes the power of one voice with the accompaniment of the open source movement. (Also, we couldn't use the word "matternet" since it was made into a brand and kept at SU).

In the conceptualization of the network, we see the action in the base station (shipping container/ UAS) because this is the network enabler.

There is no "air traffic control" for drones at the moment. You can multiply the drones by the amount of vendors and applications and you end up pretty quickly with thousands of flying objects that can produce high speed collisions very quickly. Forget about satellites and space debris. With ARIA, the "Intelligent Array" part of our name comes into play here because this is the open source guidance and A.I. engine running everything in the background, preventing collisions, negotiating landings, scheduling recharges, 3D printing replacement parts for the vehicles, etc.

We imagine a radical transformation of agriculture where..i.f I am a farmer in a remote area of Brasil and my tractor breaks down, I would loose many days finding a replacement part and installing it. With ARIA, we could have such farmer take a picture with his cellphone and send it to the artificial intelligence engine, have it recognise the part and place an order in the nearest ground station in relation to the farmer's cellphone and have it 3D printed and delivered via drone to him in a matter of minutes!

ARIA would welcome different drone types and applications under a set of open interoperability parameters. We do this already with roads and bridges. Some roads have limits on the weight of the vehicles that can use them, others have limits on the height of such vehicles. This is exactly the same analogy but we will apply it to vehicles in the air and eventually water and LEO.

We believe we can enable a new generation of cost- effective services for water testing. If you were to couple a drone and a submersible vehicle (like the openROV from our friends at OpenROV.org) you suddenly have a system that can test water at variable depths and locations unlike anything that is currently used in rivers, lakes, tributaries and coastal areas worldwide.

All the above can be realized through open source and the engagement and involvement of the open source and DIY community. We want to build the Internet of Atoms together." (http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/05/matternet-enter-the-dronenet/)

Matternet

" Matternet is a startup working on implementing just that for delivery of high-value goods (pharmaceuticals, electronics) to developing countries and/or rugged locations where the roads are so few and/or terrible that UAVs become the superior option. Their idea is for drone transportation to – literally – leapfrog trucks in those areas in the same way the cell phones leapfrogged land lines."

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