The range could be vastly increased by having a supply of unbaked pizzas and a built-in oven.
Domino's Pizza's Australian slice has decided wheeled drones trundling down footpaths are the pizza delivery mechanism of the future. The Domino's Robotic Unit sports LiDAR (light detection and ranging) object detection enabling the four-wheels Wall-E lookalike to deliver hot pizza and cold drinks without bumping into …
I gotta great idea! Let's make a delivery car that drives itself the sidewalks! Really slowly, and it'll be at just the right height to have poor visibility to pedestrians and traffic!
What could possibly go wrong?
... Yo, Dominos, It's your customers that are supposed to be the weed smokers!
So Amazon want to grab a slice of our airspace for their delivery drones, now Dominos (and doubtless many other delivery companies right behind them) want to take over our footpaths. Perhaps Coca-Cola would like to make a landgrab to deliver sugary carbonated products through our water pipes next?
Oh, I have a sure-fire idea - so the sky is a problem because airplanes and the ground is a problem because cars and pedestrians? Clearly, what we need is an army of parkour-bots delivering stuff jumping from rooftop to rooftop! In most places, that space has no traffic whatsoever - problem solved!
For the price of a margherita* plus the cost of travelling to the false address I supply, I can get my hands on a robot designed by a military contractor, take it apart and learn their secrets.
I'd buy /that/ for a dollar!**
* and a phonecall if I don't have web access.
** or probably Au$ 4.99, but you get my point.
Ok, see this robot as a resource, same as a human delivery person.
So, instead of hiring a resource for $10/hour, who can deliver the pizza within 30 minutes on a motorbike/car, including the time it takes to prepare it, being able to fire it when misconducting, lay-off when business is going down, or hire more when it flourishes, able to avoid obstacles just for the sake of self-preservation, you are now going to invest stupid money into the development of a automatic toy, then pay stupid money again for each new unit, and get stuck with it in your inventory, -WALKS- the pizza to each address trundling through ever changing environments and needs paid operators and maintenance people to keep working, and guarantees every delivery to be late and cold.
Who comes up with this shit? Some new-age punk college drop-out thinking that everything robot is the hip way to go?
FX: Ding-dong, door opens
Robot: "Good evening, here is your Domino's pizza."
Householder: "Thank you"
Robot: [still holding box] "Did you order black olives?"
Robot: "Can't stand black olives"
Householder: "Just give me the pizza."
Robot: "I could have been a military robot and seen the world you know. But no, they made me deliver pizza instead."
Householder: "My pizza, please."
Robot: [sigh] "Here you are. It's probably cold by now. They usually are as all the heaters on my left side are broken. I've told them of course but no one listens."
Householder: "Goodbye" [closes door]
FX: Ding-dong, door opens.
Householder: "What now?"
Robot: "You forgot your garlic bread ... That's cold too."
Householder: "I didn't order garlic bread."
Robot: "Everyone gets free garlic bread in happy hour ... not that I have ever really been happy..."
Householder: [slams door]
FX: Ding-dong, door opens.
Robot: "Did I mention your foster parents are dead?"
And which bit is classic:
a) the greengrocer?
b) the greengrocer's mystery item?
c) more than one of the above?
Don't keep us in suspense. Tell us!
Perspiring minds want to know!*
* nature abhors an unfinished coda.**
** or do I mean unfinished codeine ?***
*** one is never really sure once the codeine is finished.
> I'll be impressed if this thing can climb up 5 flights of stairs to get to my apartment.
> And how would it work a lift in a high-rise?
That's when the auxilliary drone detaches from the body of the droid and flies the pizza up to your window. Either that or you'll have to go down and let it in - which is the more likely scenario?*
* given the over-engineering inherent in the whole concept my money's on the auxilliary drone.**
** it's ill-conceived/totally superfluous and solves a problem nobody had in the first place - so it's probably already planned as the next upgrade to the service.
As opposed to cold and not free, like normal?
Of course, they've developed this snazzy 'bot, and not realised that at walking pace, delivery is only going to be feasible for people too lazy to walk a few minutes, or those willing to wait a pretty long time. My local Dominoes is 8 minutes by car or moped, but four and a half miles. So it'll take that bloody stupid 'bot and hour to get to me (and an hour to get back to base).
The investors in Dominoes and these tech guys need their heads examining if they think that $190k deliverybot that can do two orders a night is a good investment.
It seems quite big to me. I suspect lots of room inside. but not for pizza:
I think that each one is personally piloted R2D2 style by a dwarf. Thus keeping jobs for people and providing much required built in obstacle avoidance system / ability to climb stairs as and when required..
It also looks a tad like bigtrak. Perhaps there's some kid a block away who typed in F99, F99, Left, F2, [Deliver Pizza], Right, Right, F99, [Fire Laser]. [GO]
Did anyone notice how long it took for the pizza to arrive? It started off at night, went through a park past a jogger, past a house with a bunch of smiling people on the steps, then it eventually arrived the next night. I really doubt that the people receiving the pizza would be smiling... perhaps they arranged for loads of photographers to be there as witnesses in case the guy went ape and took out his frustrations on the £30K machine.
Let's ponder the fate of the robot fleet:
1) Robot spotted by raging peasants doing peaceful protests. DESTROYED.
2) Robot arrested by cops or savagely beaten by CRS because it was "looking a bit funny". DESTROYED.
3) Robot burned by demented "students" demanding money from the government while putting fire to the university. DESTROYED!
4) Crazed leftist ATTAC% protestors see the demon of capitalism unleashed. DESTROYED!
5) Crazed unionist protestors see the precursor of the dark satanic mills reawakened. DESTROYED!
6) Entrepreneurial yoof disappear robot and sell spare parts on the grey market. RECYCLED!
7) Any generated revenue is taxed to 110% because why not. This is France. UNECONOMIC!!
8) Robot used as target practice by ISIS dudes testing their new AKMs. CHARLIEBOT!!
9) Robot probably in violation of some labor legislation or equality decree. IMPOUNDED!
10) Moroccan dealers disappear robot, which reappears in Marrakech within 24h, neatly reprogrammed. LOST!
The 'Ford Fusion' was held out as an example of a self-driving car that can stay precisely centered in its lane even when the lane markings are covered in snow. Wow, nice. But how does it accomplish this?
According to the reports, it needs 600GB of reference Lidar data (environment map, as location reference technique) per "hour of driving" (slowly), plus it requires a bespoke cm-accurate radio navigation system. The former database would be orders of magnitude too much data to carry around (for a practical, general purpose car), and the latter does not yet exist as a general solution.
All those folks that are starting to line up outside the car sellers, waiting for perfectly practical self-driving cars to be offered, might be advised to make themselves comfortable. There are still quite a few major 'magic' milestones in the schedule.
The Google Streetview cars should be gathering Lidar data for future use. If they're not, they should start. Somebody needs to do it.
The John Deer company has some GPS tech, used for farming, that brings GPS accuracy down to about 50 cm. They're positioned to make a lot of money from their patents, except of course everybody is waiting for them to expire. Sigh...
"The Google Streetview cars should be gathering Lidar data for future use. If they're not, they should start. Somebody needs to do it."
What good is LIDAR data when the environment can change at any time. What if they break ground on a new building, replace the telephone poles, or there's simply too much snow on the ground. How does the LIDAR recognize each of these?
I think that's why Google goes with a more general system for navigation, plus if they want to test in snowy conditions, they DO have access to Donner Pass.
Well let me tell ya... I was at a friend's place and he ordered pizza delivery from a place that was probably a block away. He asked me if I thought a 30 cent tip was good and I was like "No, not really, here let me chip in". He said "No I've got it" and tipped him 30 cents. I'm pretty sure they'd send him the drone if they had one 8-).
Given that I don't know how far apart the pizza shops are...
These devices are far too slow to service anything but a few city blocks and the requirement to have enough power to return to base also limits their reach.
So perhaps a "mother van" which carries them out to their target block whilst charging, drops them off, then collects them again after their short delivery run? Charging them on the way back to reload?
No - it all looks far too complicated unless these things roam the streets with a gas fired oven (electric would limit the range) and a magazine of uncooked pizza so they can do "just in time" cook and deliver.
Of course, if they get an upgrade of "smarts" you could find them unplugging your electric car from the road side charging point so they can top off their batteries.....
Just a publicity tool plus a threat to their work force to up performance and reduce wages. Have one trundle round the area and see the motivation soar (or at least struggle slightly further above zero).
P.S. Similar problems with Amazon drones - out and back times. One model is to have the delivery van park in the middle of an area and have the drones do the last hundred yards or so in parallel. The slowest part for meat sack delivery drivers is the park, get package, walk to house, deliver, walk back, start up and drive.
How is this thing supposed to deliver pizza? Does it first go to some establishment that sells pizza, load up, and then deliver it to the customer?
I suppose it's conceivable that there might be some secret repository of pizza in a Domino's shop, though I've never found any there. Just these weird, utterly unconvincing simulacra.
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