An Internet of drones. That is what John Robb, inventor and military strategist, proposes to tackle the problems related to last mile delivery of goods. In rough terrain with few or no roads, drones can be deployed to deliver goods to dispersed groups of people. While in urban areas traffic congestion can be relieved by shifting local pickup and delivery from ground to air.
Robb floats the idea of a DroneNet in a series of blog posts. The drone network operates very much like the Internet. Literally, a packet switching network with landing pads as network nodes over which each packet is routed independently. The landing pads double function as charging stations and switches.
Transport by air does not need to be expensive. A $400 quad rotor can carry 1 kilogram over a distance of 8 to 10 miles. The quad delivers the packet to a network node and hands it over to another drone. Each hop will be cost about 25 dollar cents, Robb calculates, a dollar for 40 miles of transportation.
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