×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Why Bhutan Might Get Drone Delivery Copters Before Seattle Does

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the go-where-they'll-let-you-in dept.

Medicine 102

From Quartz comes the story of a Silicon Valley start-up trying to kickstart a delivery system using package-laden drones to overfly gridlocked traffic — in Bhutan. Bhutanese roads are slow, the weather can be brutal, and there are very few physicians to go around. That’s why, earlier this year, the Bhutanese government and the World Health Organization reached out to Matternet, a Palo Alto company backed by some big name American investors that develops transportation networks using unmanned aerial vehicles to reach hard-to-access places. ... The project in Bhutan, however, is the first big test for the startup. Matternet is aiming to build a network of low-cost quadcopters to connect the country’s main hospitals with rural communities. Matternet uses small quadcopters that can carry loads of about four pounds across 20 km at a time, to and from pre-designated landing stations. The company is able to track these flights in real-time, and aims to eventually deploy fully-automated landing stations that replace drone batteries, giving them extended range and flight time. The drones it uses typically cost between $2,000-5,000.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47625859)

I've stuck my large, throbbing penis in timmy's ass so many times that his ass is starting to look like a roast beef sandwich!

Yuuuuck!!

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47627411)

Well all I can say about that is stop making roast beef if you don't feel like eating it!

Can't hear the name Bhutan (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47625869)

without thinking of Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura.

Re:Can't hear the name Bhutan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626333)

How was this modded down? Philistines...

Great for dealing drugs (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47625871)

Seems like this method of delivery would be great for dealing drugs, or smuggling drugs across international borders. This is exactly why we need to keep very strict regulation on these things - way too much potential for abuse and illegal activity.

Re:Great for dealing drugs (2)

NotInHere (3654617) | about 4 months ago | (#47625887)

Yeah, only the government should be abled to do illegal things with that.

Re:Great for dealing drugs (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 4 months ago | (#47636379)

good thing it will be impossible for anyone else to gain remote control of the drone or for it to be shot out of the sky so somebody can get the drugs to sell on the black market. it's not like these things will travel over the same route on a regular basis or anything.

Re:Great for dealing drugs (5, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47625931)

Seems like this method of delivery would be great for dealing drugs, or smuggling drugs across international borders. This is exactly why we need to keep very strict regulation on these things - way too much potential for abuse and illegal activity.

For that price and that payload, I'm pretty sure these are already being used. After all, if they're using autonomous submarines, these would be significantly cheaper, simpler, and less of a hit should one be intercepted. Strict regulations are only effective for people operating within the law (not above or below it).

Re:Great for dealing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47625977)

It is also a great way to deliver drugs to doctors and nurses who have a patient who needs treatment fast!

Or are you want people to not get treatment to avoid abuse.

If that is what you want then you should with demanding no painkillers to be given outside a hospital or doctor's office.

There is no tech that can't be abused, the real question is do the benefits out-weight the abuses.

ECP

Re:Great for dealing drugs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626029)

Sorry, I did not preview first.

It is also a great way to deliver drugs to doctors and nurses who have a patient who needs treatment fast!

Or are you wanting people to not get treatment to avoid possible abuse?

If that is what you want, then you should be demanding that no painkillers should be given outside a hospital or doctor's office.

Now that would cut out a lot of abuse, who cares about the people who suffer to insure no-one abuses the system?

There is no tech out there that can't be abused, the real question is do the benefits out-weight the abuses.

ECP

Re:Great for dealing drugs (5, Funny)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 4 months ago | (#47626021)

Yes, because if there is one thing we know about people who break the law to deal illegal drugs, it is that they are huge regulation adherents!

Re:Great for dealing drugs (4, Insightful)

6ULDV8 (226100) | about 4 months ago | (#47626055)

The activities you describe are already illegal. It's naughty to kill people too, but adding more laws won't affect people that refuse to follow laws that already exist.

Using the logic you've proposed, we should outlaw computers too. Or even pencils. I've heard tales of pencils being used to write secret notes of illegal activity.

Re:Great for dealing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47627885)

This is idiotic.

The reason why murder is illegal is primarily so that you can arrest people and send them to prison for it. To suggest that they won't affect people that refuse to obey the law ignores that we have an entire criminal justice system dedicated to making them be affected by the laws.

Re:Great for dealing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626097)

Seems like this method of delivery would be great for dealing drugs, or smuggling drugs across international borders. This is exactly why we need to keep very strict regulation on these things - way too much potential for abuse and illegal activity.
 
...or we could focus our resources on the demand aspect of the drug problem instead of continuing to waste trillions of dollars for decades targeting the supply side.

Morewallsmoregunsmoreprisons hasn't accomplished jack shit. Trying the same thing and hoping for a different outcome is insanity.

Re:Great for dealing drugs (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 4 months ago | (#47626871)

Morewallsmoregunsmoreprisons hasn't accomplished jack shit.

On the contrary, they've accomplished plenty of shit!

Re:Great for dealing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626351)

have you heard about this new way of delivery medicine into a person ? it's called 'needle'...
but wait, it can be used to deliver drugs inside that person, we need to forbid it

Re:Great for dealing drugs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626391)

How is dealing drugs abuse? Bypassing prohibition to deliver desirable products that are almost all safer than the government approved nicotine and alcohol isn't morally wrong.

Re:Great for dealing drugs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47627897)

That's a fucked up argument. Some drugs are probably safer than alcohol and nicotine, but that doesn't mean that they ought to be legalized. It just means that they aren't as dangerous as alcohol or nicotine.

Alcohol and nicotine are legal soley because people refuse to give them up, they are not legal because they're safe. It never ceases to amaze me how morons like you seem to confuse legality with safety and refusal to obey the law with morality.

Re:Great for dealing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47629397)

troll alert

Re:Great for dealing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626621)

Hmmm. Drone requires:
plastic
GPS
microprocessor
electric motors
batteries
sensor(s) to determine orientation.

Yep, real easy to strictly regulate drones.

Re:Great for dealing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626727)

Are you a troll or a bureaucrat?

Re:Great for dealing drugs (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#47626823)

Seems like this method of delivery would be great for dealing drugs

Other delivery methods that would be great for dealing drugs are cars, trucks, boats, airplanes, submarines, etc. Gust because the device can be use for drug trafficking does not mean it needs to be heavily regulated.

The weather is brutal (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47625891)

If there's one thing that works flawlessly in brutal weather, it's aircraft.

Re:The weather is brutal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47625941)

Yes, they do when you listen to your safety officer and only fly when the weather is good enough.

ECP

Re:The weather is brutal (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47625945)

From wikipedia:
 

As with other roads in Bhutan, the Lateral Road presents serious safety concerns due to pavement conditions, sheer drops, hairpin turns, weather and landslides

.

I think perhaps the problem is perhaps that weather knocks out mountain roads, and so supplies can't be delivered until they're repaired.

Re:The weather is brutal (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47627407)

Multirotors are computer controlled, they work very well in bad weather. I have flown my quad in multiple hurricanes without issue. OK, maybe not hurricane force winds, only about 50 MPH but with upgraded motors hurricane force winds would be no problem. The computer does all the work, it's easy to fly.

Re:The weather is brutal (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47628983)

Using winds properly could actually extend range in an interesting way. I think I've already seen some software for gliders that maps your path automatically like that.

Re:The weather is brutal (1)

spacefight (577141) | about 4 months ago | (#47629415)

Of course it does and that's being done on daily airline operations. For a drone which can't refule at their drop-off location, that's another thing though.

People steal WIRE (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47625927)

People who are living in a nation with annual average wages of $6000 not stealing from these "fully automated landing stations" seems really improbable. I mean, Bhutan apparently has an uniquely low violent crime rate for southern Asia, but that just seems like a lot of money for people so poor.

Re: People steal WIRE (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47625967)

But would they damage or steal it when told "this brings medicine"?

Re: People steal WIRE (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47625993)

Would at least some people? Yes.

Re: People steal WIRE (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47626035)

But would they damage or steal it when told "this brings incredibly expensive, easy to smuggle things"?

FTFY, so you can see how obvious the answer is.

Re: People steal WIRE (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 4 months ago | (#47626267)

Probably yes, because "someone" will replace it "soon" and there will be little or no apparent hard done to the medical facilities. Of course, the reality is the harm is substantial, but it isn't readily visible to the perpetrators so it's quite easy for people to rationalize their behavior.

Re:People steal WIRE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47625989)

That also means labor is also cheap so hiring a guard or two shouldn't be a problem if this does become a problem.

Re:People steal WIRE (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47626009)

So people you deem as poor are also automatically thieves?
Nice.

Re:People steal WIRE (-1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47626051)

You cannot be serious.

Re:People steal WIRE (1, Offtopic)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47626189)

Oh my fucking god, people are modding him up? You were serious. Ugh.

Let's explain then, because Jesus Christ this is stupid.

Poverty creates desperation. Some desperate people steal. The end. Being poor doesn't make you mentally inferior, morally questionable(in fact all objective evidence says the opposite is true), or deserving of blame.

What it does do is sometimes make you wonder where your next meal is coming from. And if you're enough of a liar to say that you wouldn't consider stealing some rich foreigners' drone charging station to eat, and that some people upon considering it might do it, I can't argue against you.

Re:People steal WIRE (1, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 months ago | (#47626409)

Poor is in the eye of the beholder, and doesn't breed anything. Consumerism breeds envy, and envy breeds desperation (keeping up with the Jones'). If someone has what they have always known, there is NO envy, no desire to steal.

Good job Racist Elitist .

Re:People steal WIRE (1, Troll)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47627105)

Yeah, you're stupid as all hell. People in Bhutan aren't doing fine in the absence of evil western consumerism(which I don't even like). That's just silly.

From wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
Population below poverty line
        31.7% (2003)

There's no fucking elitism in the seeing the fact that a huge swath of the country isn't doing so hot, and guessing that people who aren't doing so hot might be looking to support themselves.

I'm glad you're peddling that colonialist "noble savage" bullshit though. I'm sure that's helping someone.

Re:People steal WIRE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47627455)

And I see you've shown up in another thread still whining like a petulant 3 year old. Told ya before, shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down. Slashdot is tired of you and we keep telling you that (in our responses and down mods) but you still swear that you're right and correct and it is the other couple thousand of us who are all wrong. The common denominator in all of these arguments are you; that makes YOU the problem, not us.

Re:People steal WIRE (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47627535)

I'm sorry I call out morons directly for their inane bullshit. I'm sorry you were one of those morons sometime, and decided that a vendetta called for.

Yeah, I get downmodded occasionally, particularly when calling out the worst sorts of people who don't actually argue a position, who fucking cares? You? I gotta say that's sad. They're imaginary internet points. And they're not even your imaginary internet points.

Re:People steal WIRE (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47627547)

Oh and as long as I'm making genuinely off topic posts to invite perfectly reasonable down modding, don't think I don't know what it means when someone just happens to come in to a thread on anonymous coward to mention how I just happened to have exactly one downmod down an entire thread. Come on. You're not fooling anyone.

Re:People steal WIRE (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47628993)

There's a difference between desiring critical medical drugs and "consumerism". A bottle of insulin and a car by BWM are worlds apart on the necessity/luxury scale.

Re:People steal WIRE (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 months ago | (#47632585)

If you have known neither "Insulin" nor "BMW", then you cannot miss either. You cannot "miss" something you never had. WE can look in from the outside and pass all sorts of judgements about people, but that doesn't mean anything other that we (outsiders) are showing our own myopic view of the world.

In the deepest part of the Amazon, where people have lived quite simply for thousands and thousands of years, and we say they live in poverty, is extremely elitist. We are actually guilty of placing our value system (money) on them, when they do not have even the faintest concept of that. The moment you bring in something they haven't had before, you create the very thing you despise ... envy.

Of course it is easy to sit in ivory towers looking down at all the idiots of the world, and judge them on their ignorance.

Re:People steal WIRE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47632581)

No, being a species that evolved in tribes predisposes us to envy and a desire to do better than the other people. Consumerism often taps into that, but it didn't create it.

Re:People steal WIRE (2)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 4 months ago | (#47626017)

low crime since Steven Seagal is a God. quote: In recent years, he made a widely publicised visit to Bhutan and has been proclaimed the reincarnation of a holy 13th-century Buddhist treasure hunter. link:http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20120416-kingdom-in-the-clouds-of-bhutan/2

Re:People steal WIRE (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 4 months ago | (#47626049)

People steel COPPER in the US, so whatever you do don't install indoor plumbing in your new home!

Re:People steal WIRE (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47626071)

How do you steel copper? I've only ever heard of steeling iron.

Re:People steal WIRE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626129)

I don't know, whenever I see a comment from "i kan reed", I steel myself for something silly coming.

Re:People steal WIRE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626177)

A sledge hammer works great for busting up the drywall that is standing between you and the copper wires and pipes.

Re:People steal WIRE (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#47626249)

Usually it is clad around the copper (like with pots and pans) but in some cases, the steel can be laminated.

However, I assume he meant steal as in take without permission. In the US, all sorts of metal of value is regularly stolen and sold for scrap.

Re:People steal WIRE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47627475)

Hey dumbass. He knew what the fuck he meant. He was the troll that started all of this "poor people steal everything" bullshit.

Re: People steal WIRE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47627593)

No, he just made a valid point about the insecurity of an automated landing pad, and then someone else (certainly not you I'm sure!) started beating the hyperbolic strawman about poor people.

Let's leave it out of this conversation.

Re:People steal WIRE (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#47627747)

I'm the dumbass when *(you) was clueless about steeling copper.

And yes, when something is worth around one third to half.of the average anual income and laying out in the open, security and theft should be a concern. Poor is relevant here insomuch that it increases the percentage of value on the UAV compared to income. It makes it more attractive to thieves in the area. It is the same reason liquor stores and gas stations get robbed more in poor areas than the people living next to them. The businessws have larger amounts if valuables making them more attractive.

Re:People steal WIRE (3, Funny)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 months ago | (#47626649)

I only heard of Steely Dan ...

Re:People steal WIRE (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47629003)

If copper were cheap, it would be a steel.

Re:People steal WIRE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626147)

that just seems like a lot of money for people so poor.

Being poor doesn't make one a thief any more than being rich makes a person honest.

Re:People steal WIRE (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47626211)

No one said that. But if you for one minute think that poverty doesn't incentivize theft(you know, by means of having greater need), you're a goddamn moron.

Re:People steal WIRE (1)

Scottingham (2036128) | about 4 months ago | (#47626347)

Fully automated on the top of a hospital building I think is what they are referring to. A drone that can automatically recharge itself and await a package or pickup location demand is huge.

America should at the forefront of this level of innovation. Instead the FAA sticks its head in the sand while the rest of the world goes forward at an incredible pace.

Re:People steal WIRE (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#47626467)

They are also referring to recharging stations between the hospitals. For example if the range of the drone is 40 miles and the destination is over 40 miles away there needs to be at least one recharge between the source and destination. The beauty of an automated recharge station is that they can be put anywhere along the route.

Re:People steal WIRE (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47629013)

If hospital roofs are the target, I wonder if small fixed-wing drones wouldn't be even better. They're more energy-efficient, as far as I know, and they *can* launch and land on just a few meters of space.

Re:People steal WIRE (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 4 months ago | (#47626631)

America should at the forefront of this level of innovation. Instead the FAA sticks its head in the sand while the rest of the world goes forward at an incredible pace.

Yes, because the US is such a poor backwater with no roads or any other method of distributing life-saving drugs to its residents that such a drone system is required just to save lives. Cities like Seattle just don't have an existing distribution system for medicines and don't have pharmacies all around the place. And the US has no existing private and commercial aviation just like Bhutan doesn't, so there can be no issues of mixing human traffic with automated.

I'm sorry that you can't get your Amazon deliveries as fast as you want them. It is a real hardship to have to wait a day or two for UPS or USPS to deliver your new gadgets to your front door.

It is depressing to hear people who have so much complaining because they can't have everything that poor countries have, too.

By the way, the FAA is working on integrating UAS into the national airspace, so your claim that they are "sticking their head in the sand" is false.

Re:People steal WIRE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47627519)

Well I'm sorry that you don't want everyone to find out you like to auto-asphyxiate to under-aged midget elephant scat porn. It's old fuckers like you who are always screamin about "mah privacy" that keeps us from continuing to be a front runner in the world. We used to tell fuckers like you to fuck off and by doing so we've got The Bomb, moon landings, several fucking spaceships, the Hoover fucking damn, and more that I don't feel like typing. How about instead of being scared of what the TLAs know about you, you go on and live your life as good as you can with what you got and stop holding the rest of us back? You're a dinosaur by today's standards and it's high time you skulk off to a cave somewhere and fade away into history.

Re:People steal WIRE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626377)

Yeah, but what would they do with it ? Bhutan is a closed economy, there is no black market in which they can liquidate any assets from the drone system. Furthermore, they do not necessarily view the world with that "me first, fuck everyone else" attitude that is espoused by American cultural values.

There really is no reason for them to wreck a public good like this, it would be like destroying their walking tracks. Sure, anyone can do it, but what's the fucking point ?

"...the weather can be brutal..." (1)

mmell (832646) | about 4 months ago | (#47625983)

If the weather is severe enough to delay ground traffic, what are the odds that a drone will be capable of flight/navigation? A full-sized, manned aircraft has fairly specific limitations (crosswind, turbulence, etc.) within which safe operation is possible. While there's at least one less life at risk (the pilot's), I can only imagine that current drones are even more tightly limited - not so much by legislation as by simple physics. If your aircraft has a maximum airspeed of 20kts, any wind exceeding that automatically grounds your drone fleet (unless you're into one-way missions). I've always nursed a pet suspicion that this is what caused John Denver's death - he was flying an ultralight; if the offshore winds ("Santa Anna", I think?) exceeded the maximum airspeed of his ultralight, he probably spent the last few moments of his life watching the shore get further and further away - with no way to rescue himself or radio for help (I don't believe ultralights carry an aviation comms stack).

Re:"...the weather can be brutal..." (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47626041)

because once the storm stops, the road can be washed out for days.

For crying out loud: Think.

Re:"...the weather can be brutal..." (2)

mmell (832646) | about 4 months ago | (#47626107)

What percentage of storms/weather-related phenomena there are sufficient to ground a drone fleet but not severe enough to completely eradicate roads?

Just a thought.

Re:"...the weather can be brutal..." (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#47626207)

Um, it rains here. We have lightning. We have fog. Sometimes we go weeks without seeing the sun.

Don't be taken in by the pretty pictures from our two months of summer sunshine.

Re:"...the weather can be brutal..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47637337)

What percentage of this is libel mmell http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] ? 100% libeling others accusing them of pedophile activities perhaps? Do you work for a marketing or affliated with advertisers based company or consultancy mmell? Answer those questions.

Re:"...the weather can be brutal..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47627273)

John Denver dies in his experimental Rutan_Long-EZ, it was and is not an ultralight

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutan_Long-EZ

Re:"...the weather can be brutal..." (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47629055)

First, there will probably always be some backup land transport capacity for extreme conditions. This could still allow them to keep average operating costs and response times lower than without the drones at all. Second, I'd actually expect a smaller, fully computer-controlled vehicle to be much more agile, with perhaps the sole exception of having to fly against very strong wind. Areas with periodic occurrences of problematic wind conditions ought to be monitored and mined from the long-term telemetry data, and avoided in automated flight planning. The storage for that is too cheap to meter.

And finally, Denver's airplane was not an ultralight, and it had a standard cruise speed of ~220 km/h and maximum level flight speed at full throttle of ~300 km/h. Must have been some wind!

The obvious answer (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 months ago | (#47626113)

To " Why Bhutan Might Get Drone Delivery Copters Before Seattle Does" is that Seattle has basic infrastructure like roads that aren't impassible after every storm.

Point to point drone corridors can be marked off on maps and given to pilots.
The kind of delivery that people would want in Seattle involves a burrito delivered to their front door.
These are not the same types of delivery patterns or reasons.

Re:The obvious answer (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#47626197)

Why would we want door to door delivery of burritos? There's a food truck down the block.

Re:The obvious answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626369)

You think people would walk a block to get food? Most would drive their cars to it probably.

Re:The obvious answer (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#47626455)

what's a car?

Re:The obvious answer (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 4 months ago | (#47626695)

Why would we want door to door delivery of burritos? There's a food truck down the block.

Because it is all the way down the block. The same reason that people order stuff from Amazon that they could get by walking down the block to the store. And ask the people who want Amazon delivery of food because going to the local grocery store is too hard.

I can imagine a country that has a poor system of roads and less commercial infrastructure might need a cheaper delivery system just for critical items, and it won't just be that they're lazy folk who want what they want when they want it without any effort.

Re:The obvious answer (convenience) (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#47626825)

Then get on your bike or skateboard.

Geesh, and you wonder why you're so fat ...

Re:The obvious answer (convenience) (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 4 months ago | (#47626961)

Geesh, and you wonder why you're so fat ...

I'm sorry you let your personal animosity get in the way of getting the point of what I wrote. You didn't even understand that I was talking about other people, not you and not me.

You asked why people would want to-the-door delivery of burritos when there is a food truck down the block, and I told you. Lashing out at the messenger doesn't change the message and doesn't merit your personal insults.

Re:The obvious answer (convenience) (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#47627009)

Who was lashing out?

I was just making a conclusion based on your statement.

Never said I was thin.

But again, we were originally talking about "needs".

Seattle doesn't need drones. We make them. We send them to other countries. They perform highly sensitive missions at very cheap costs.

Most of us commute by bike or walk here, anyway. Only lazy suburbanites think they "need" drones.

Re:The obvious answer (convenience) (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 4 months ago | (#47627125)

Who was lashing out?

You were. "... you wonder why you're so fat ..." is a personal insult based on nothing more than your desire to insult someone else for responding to one of your comments.

I was just making a conclusion based on your statement.

I said nothing about me in my statement. There was no basis for any conclusion. Nor did I say anything about you, so you don't even have the excuse that you felt insulted so you needed to insult in return.

But again, we were originally talking about "needs".

No, you were talking about "wants". Quote: "Why would we want door to door delivery of burritos?" That's the comment I responded to. "We" (plural pronoun referring to people in general) want door to door delivery of burritos because we (plural pronoun referring to people in general) want the convenience. That you could find some way to turn this into a personal insult is, well, fascinating but a complete waste of my time.

Re:The obvious answer (convenience) (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#47627217)

the word You is both a singular and a plural pronoun.

Now go order a drone pizza so I can get a free dinner.

Re:The obvious answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626355)

To " Why Bhutan Might Get Drone Delivery Copters Before Seattle Does" is that Seattle has basic infrastructure like roads that aren't impassible after every storm.

Instead, our roads are impassable every rush hour.

all this to attract investors with no experience (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626149)

does anyone rah-rahing this have ANY flight experience with quadcopters? It doesn't take much wind or turbulence to severely deplete batteries and reduce range. It also doesn't take much to screw up an automated flight system.

a 3D capable single rotor helicopter with a good autopilot is a much better possibility but no one wants to talk about those-it's all quadcopter this, quadcopter that to bring in investors and eyeballs.

If you don't need the stability for a camera platform, a quad/hex is NOT the vehicle of choice. Deliverables don't care about a little vibration and a nice big TREX 800E will be faster, more agile, and more efficient for a small delivery vehicle. If that's not big enough, a quad isn't gonna help as you need a REAL drone/RPV and oughta consider homebrewing the sensors and gyros into something like the Eagle Helicycle.

But it's a lot easier to buy some off the shelf RC toys to show small scale demos I suppose, and let scalability and real world weather be an issue for a later investment phase.

Re:all this to attract investors with no experienc (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626239)

Problem, those single rotor systems tend to have more delicate parts than quad-copters.

Some quads have four props directly connected to the motors, others a simple gear box on each motor.

Single rotor systems need to tilt the blades at high speeds, I have a friend who has a couple and the amount of work to maintain them is far more than the simpler quad-rotor designs.

ECP

Also illegal to spy on people in WA state (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#47626185)

Our State Constitution has strong privacy protections, and the act of flying a drone that can see in your upstairs window, without a court ordered warrant issued for a specific person at a specific place at a specific time, violates many parts of that.

So Bhutan can live in their 1984 paradise.

We'll be strong and free.

And, yes, we make stuff here.

Re:Also illegal to spy on people in WA state (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#47626527)

Our State Constitution has strong privacy protections, and the act of flying a drone that can see in your upstairs window, without a court ordered warrant issued for a specific person at a specific place at a specific time, violates many parts of that.

Anyone at a higher elevation, ie standing on a hill, can see into your upstairs window so standing on a hill would be illegal. By this logic it would also be illegal to fly aircraft as they can also see into upstairs windows. It is not the ability to spy that is illegal it is the act of spying that is illegal.

I'll have you know Afghanistan been getting drone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626227)

I'll have you know Afghanistan been getting drone delivery for the longest time now and way before any of those Seattle hipsters.

Weather issues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626371)

I just checked the weather for Thimphu and they forecast some pretty adverse conditions. I'm not entirely familar with how well drones can manage microbursts and lightening showers but I imagine this program will see a lot of money spent in an area that isn't suited for drone flight.

Airships (1)

Pseudonymus Bosch (3479) | about 4 months ago | (#47626641)

Couldn't this be served better with small airships? They would have greater autonomy and I don't think there would be big differences in speed.

Fail !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626659)

The last thing anyone needs is a drone crashing on their head!

Hospital & clinics great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47626693)

Using drones to connect hospital and clinics anywhere from rural areas to traffic-locked big cities is fine. I just don't want the skies over me filled with drones delivering electric toothbrushes for Amazon.

Umm, didn't they mention bad weather (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 4 months ago | (#47626843)

as one of the big problems with transportation in Bhutan? How well do quad copters work in bad weather?

It sounds like a solution looking for a problem.

Re:Umm, didn't they mention bad weather (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47628265)

During the storm? Like crap. After the storm, when all the roads are washed out? Much better than road dependent vehicle.

Bhutan Seattle (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#47626967)

Bhutan:
One company running few drones. Low probability of collision between drones
Mostly rural. Low probability of drone striking obstacle
Little civil aviation. Low probability of collision.
Sparse population. Low probability of injury if drone goes down

Seattle
Hundreds of companies wanting to use drones; Much higher probability of collision between drones
Mostly urban with power line, tall buildings, radio towers, etc. Much higher probability of drone striking obstacle
Lots of civil aviation. Much higher probability of collision.
Dense population. Much higher probability of injury if drone goes down

Using a drone in the skies over Seattle is orders of magnitude more complex than over Bhutan.

Re:Bhutan Seattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47627543)

Using a drone in the skies over Seattle is orders of magnitude more complex than over Bhutan.

Yes but using a keyboard to post reactionary "the sky is falling" craziness is orders of magnitude easier than actually getting shit done. Is your knee fucked up badly? I'd imagine it would be pretty sore from banging it on the bottom side of your desk.

Why drones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47627953)

They could try something completely different: ballistic delivery. Delivery by slingshot that is :) It's not like they need to send packages a long way away to reach the other end of the country :)

Interesting experiment (3, Interesting)

seandoyle44 (1835628) | about 4 months ago | (#47629081)

Bhutan is very rugged and I've been driven over roads that were washed out in rainstorms. I don't know how practical quadcopters would be but I would be interested to see how it works out.
When I was there I saw a farm near the top of a small hill with no roads going to it. I asked - how does the farmer get their crop to market? The answer was by animals (donkeys I think). But apparently the farmers in this area had asked for a road and they probably would get one. The main limitation was how to pay for it - they didn't want to take on any foreign debt for infrastructure developments so it might take a few decades. But they wanted their independence and were willing to wait.
It's very true (as earlier commenters mentioned) that the per capita income is low. But when I was there 8 years ago I was struck at how prosperous and healthy people seemed. If I remember correctly Bhutan was largely a barter economy until the 1950s so some of the discrepancy might be that the official statistics don't capture some elements of the economic activity. There certainly were poor areas and the Nepalese road workers seemed far poorer than the Bhutanese - but I suspect that reality is complicated here. Maybe because Bhutan was never colonized we're seeing what a culture looks like that hasn't been plundered by outsiders? I really don't know but I'd recommend anyone who wants to find out more they should just visit there :-).
With the drones - I'd worry about noise pollution and general impracticality with the current state of quadcopters. But it might work well & I hope that their experiment goes well. When we were there my daughter was bitten by an insect and had a bad reaction - we couldn't tell if it was an infection or an allergic response. Thimphu was a day's drive away. Something like this might work & it might be more economical than building roads. I wish them good luck.

Sandpeople (1)

QuadEddie (459328) | about 4 months ago | (#47630783)

Yes but what happens when the Sandpeople of Bhutan start shooting the $5000 aircraft out of the sky with .20 cent bullets?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?