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Quadcopter Drone Network Will Transport Supplies For Disaster Relief 113

kkleiner writes "A startup called Matternet is building a network of quadcopter drones to deliver vital goods to remote areas and emergency supplies to disaster-stricken areas. The installation of solar-powered fueling station and an operating system to allow for communications with local aviation authorities will allow the network to be available around the clock and in the farthest reaches of the world. 'Matternet’s drone network has three key components. First, the drones—custom-built autonomous electric quadcopters with GPS and sensors, capable of carrying a few kilos up to 10 kilometers (and more as the tech advances). Next, the firm will set up a network of solar-powered charging stations where drones autonomously drop off dead batteries and pick up charged ones. A drone battery that can travel 10 km need not limit the drone itself to 10 km — rather, these drones can theoretically travel the whole network by swapping out batteries. The final component will be an operating system to orchestrate the drone web, share information with aviation authorities, and fly missions 24/7/365.'"
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Quadcopter Drone Network Will Transport Supplies For Disaster Relief

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @03:31AM (#43791319)

    It fascinates me that they think they could make a profit with something like this.

    They don't make money off of what they're producing, they make money from the VCs. I think most of you know this already.
    1. Come up with something that seems new and unique but is totally useless (a few kilograms over 10km, really?).
    2. Get VC funding.
    3. Pay yourself a salary (Profit!) while you do "research and development" for a few years until the VC funding runs out and they realize your idea isn't going to work in the real world.
    4. Go to step 1.

  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @03:34AM (#43791337)

    My impression was that copters are difficult to fly in high winds/storm conditions. Is this true? will this also be true of these copters? If so, the claim that they can fly 24/7/365 is perhaps not credible?

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351