In 2013, Amazon was one of the first to declare the intention to work towards the automated delivery of goods by small autonomous helicopters. A multi-disciplinary research team at the Alpen-Adria-Universität assembled by Christian Bettstetter and Friederike Wall is due to deliver initial insights on the efficient operation of (self-organised) delivery of goods. Doctoral student Pasquale Grippa will present the results at the conference “Robotics: Science and Systems”, which is scheduled to take place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from July 12th.
“We are analysing a system in which customers order goods that are stored in depots and the subsequent deliveries are made by drones”, Christian Bettstetter (Institute of Networked and Embedded Systems) explains. “These queries occur randomly in terms of time and space. The transport units execute these queries and deliver the desired goods to the customer.”
As far as the system intelligence is concerned, researchers have to ask themselves: Which customer should be served next? Which drone will serve the next customer? Which depot should the goods be retrieved from? What do the drones do while there are no orders pending?
Based on these questions addressing the automated allocation of tasks in a drone network, the research team has developed various scenarios, calculating their respective impact on the performance capacity of the system. The results reveal the following: Whenever the oldest query is dealt with next (first job first), there is a risk that the system could be rendered unstable, if even a single transport unit fails.
However, if the query located closest is chosen as a matter of course (nearest job first), this type of threshold effect is only encountered in a few scenarios. Furthermore, a nearest job first procedure is very suitable for distributed implementation, allowing each transport unit to decide independently, which query to execute next, and thus increasing the degree of autonomy so that it extends beyond the scope of merely flying autonomously.
While the precise point in time of the task allocation has a significant impact on delivery time and system stability in the case of first job first, it is entirely irrelevant for nearest job first.
Working with these results, the team can now present a method for scaling a drone-based delivery service, which companies can apply when planning their systems. “We consider the expenditures in relation to the expected delivery time. To do this, we account for the number of depots (long-term investment), the number of drones (medium-term investment), and the type of job selection used (can be modified at short notice)”, Friederike Wall (Department of Management Control and Strategic Management) expounds. Working closely with Lakeside Labs GmbH, she headed the project together with Christian Bettstetter, which was funded by the Carinthian Economic Promotion Fund (KWF). Doris Behrens, her post-doctoral colleague, was also part of the research team.
Bettstetter summarises: “The drone-based delivery of goods is an interesting niche, which promises huge potential for start-ups. To maximise their efficiency, drone networks need to be scaled on the basis of different time horizons. What is more, they must be equipped with system intelligence. Our results illustrate varying patterns of behaviour arising from different modes of task allocation.”
Dr. Romy Müller | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and Rapid Shape GmbH are working together to further develop resin-based 3D printing. The new “TwoCure” process requires no support structures and is significantly more efficient and productive than conventional 3D printing techniques for plastic components. Experts from Fraunhofer ILT will be presenting the state-funded joint development that makes use of the interaction of light and cold in forming the components at formnext 2017 from November 14 to 17 in Frankfurt am Main.
Much like stereolithography, one of the best-known processes for printing 3D plastic components works using photolithographic light exposure that causes liquid...
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.11.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
10.11.2017 | Information Technology
10.11.2017 | Earth Sciences