Network of autonomous small cargo vessels ("Matternet" on the water)

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Matternetaqua, May 8, 2012.

  1. afteryou
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 67
    Likes: 3, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 31
    Location: Southeast Alaska

    afteryou Junior Member

    Not to mention theft. sounds like a boat full of crap
    ripe for the picking to me. maybe autonomous guns to
    fight off the pirates.
     
  2. Matternetaqua
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 13
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Bruxelles

    Matternetaqua Junior Member

    Hi Richard, thanks for the response.

    Some points, though: I work with 15 and 25 hp Yamaha Enduros, and we frequently transport 3 tons or more in dugout canoe. So that was my starting point.

    Our 15hp outboard uses about 0.15 liters of gasoline per tonne-kilometer (not counting SAE90 oil). That is 1.455 kWh of energy. That's a lot.

    Given that electric configurations are so much more efficient (80%, as compared to 15% for combustion engines), we can make a crude comparison. Say your electric motor and battery system is only 5 times as efficient as the gasoline variant, you'd need only 0.3 kWh per tonne-kilometer. In short, you'd need a 30kWh battery bank to push 1 ton 100km; 3 times that for a 3 ton boat. Not unfeasible: 3 battery banks from a Nissan Leaf.

    Now let's look at some costs: gasoline is expensive here (3$/l). You spend around 0.45$/tonne-km. (The 0.1$/tonne-km or 10$/ton for 100km mentioned above is for human powered dugouts).

    At a battery price of 400$/kWh, you'd spend 36,000$ for a 90kWh battery pack - but only once in the life of the boat. Say you use a 15kW solar array to charge the batteries (6hours of daily insolation), and given that solar costs 0.8$/W, you'd spend 12,000$ - again, only once. That is a total system cost of 48,000$.

    Now you need only 106,666 ton-km to break even. That's to say: 355 tours of 100km with 3 tons in your boat. Optimistically, you'd do this in around 2 years, if your boat operates 175 days a year.

    The other system components are less expensive, even free (like the software).

    So from a cost perspective the idea might be feasible. From a technical perspective (power), pushing 3 tons on a river, using batteries, is not too great a challenge, is it?
     
  3. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member


    Ha ha ha ha! (laughing at the numbers)

    Meanwhile, the guy operating the dug outs is up and running tomorrow for $1000, breaks even almost instantly, and gets preferred government treatment since he provides jobs to the locals.

    Have you looked into licensing automatons in country you plan to do this in?

    By all means, only address people who support your idea and ignore the facts and figures. You should start building the prototype right now with your seed money and show us how it works.

    Planet Solar is a world record holding, state of the art solar boat. It is the best that can be done at this time with current limits to technology. So if you use batteries, how is the energy produced again? By coal fired power plants?

    Sounds like a wasteful hobby to me. This is most certainly not green or a form of conservation.
     
  4. Matternetaqua
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 13
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Bruxelles

    Matternetaqua Junior Member

    It's a bit the same logic as with electric cars. On a life-cycle basis, they're much less expensive to operate than combustion engine cars. Initial costs are higher indeed, but once you have acquired the stuff, you're basically better off.

    The 10$/ton on 100km is indeed for 100km only. I don't know what "long distance" you're referring to. But I'm sure it's longer than 100km. That may explain it.

    Let's use a more basic standard for comparisons. The price per ton-km.

    • my 10$/ton per 100km equates to 0.1$/ton-km.
    • A quick Google shows that ocean freight is somewhere around 0.01 to 0.05$/ton-km.

    So that's much cheaper indeed... By a factor of 10.

    It seems I was right.

    So don't be confused over that number (10$/ton per 100 km). That's actually very expensive indeed.
     
  5. Matternetaqua
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 13
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Bruxelles

    Matternetaqua Junior Member

    That's the geographical context indeed.
     
  6. Matternetaqua
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 13
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Bruxelles

    Matternetaqua Junior Member

    Sure, but people are going to test this now - today.
    Matternet has a contract with the Dominican Republic, now - today.
    I want to be in that boat too... :)


    That's a good point, but it's controversial. Has the increasing automation in the West led to job losses? Sure it has. But those who lost their jobs in industry, have gone on to the tertiary sector.

    Automation is nothing to fear. It's the future. It liberates man.

    Matternet is especially meant for developing countries with no transport infrastructures. There automated logistics could actually greatly help and create durable jobs.

    Imagine a farmer who breaks his back and walks 25km with half a bag of maize, which he then has to put into a messy boat that has a big chance of sinking due to human error -- if you could replace this with an efficient Matternet, you'd actually boost markets and everything that goes with it (in the case of agriculture: higher incomes, improved food security, etc....).

    Matternet wants to leapfrog. It wants to abandon the old idea of spending millions on a mile of road. Abandon that old world idea, and use automated air and water vehicles to jump into a much more efficient future rightaway. That's the idea.
     
  7. Matternetaqua
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 13
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Bruxelles

    Matternetaqua Junior Member

    Sure, fabbing will open new perspectives too, and it's a bit the same logic as Matternet. Instead of having a few huge, centralised, costly infrastructures, you distribute and decentralise a million tiny and cheap ones, which are networked.

    It's the future of many things: renewable energy, transport (Matternet), fabbing, etc...

    Thanks for mentioning this example. It's appropriate in this context.
     
  8. Matternetaqua
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 13
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Bruxelles

    Matternetaqua Junior Member

    Yes, that's the old world. But in the new world, that is the developing world, batteries are charged with solar power.

    Just go and find out! A ticket to Africa costs $1000. You can try!
     
  9. Matternetaqua
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 13
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Bruxelles

    Matternetaqua Junior Member

    A prototype of sorts is already here. Lonelybot.com.

    Built in a garage. Very low-cost. We can try this with 2 bags of maize. And scale up, bit by bit.

    The networking would not be too difficult.


    Look, CatBuilder, you may not like the idea. But most innovations were laughed at. You may stick to your sail boat. I have nothing against that. And I won't insult you for sticking to the world's oldest marine technology. Fully automated kitesails are out there too, though. But I'm not sure you like them.
     
  10. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,654
    Likes: 274, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Bananas

    Welcome to the forum, afteryou. I agree that it would be easy pickings.
     
  11. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,654
    Likes: 274, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Bananas

    How far will 100 lbs. of batteries push your boat? Compare that to the range you will get with 100 lbs. of gasoline or diesel. It seems pretty clear that internal combustion is far more efficient in that context, so I must agree with Catbuilder.
     
  12. sabahcat
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 792
    Likes: 27, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 273
    Location: australia

    sabahcat Senior Member

    Easy fixed, just mount an automatic robot sentry on each of the automatic robot boats:p

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5YftEAbmMQ
     
  13. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,654
    Likes: 274, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Bananas

    You would trade human error for mechanical error. I went to Don's Marine Salvage last month while the Tom-Tom kept repeating "Make a U-turn now". Yes we gave it the correct address but it wasn't as smart as it thought it was.
     
  14. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,654
    Likes: 274, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Bananas

    How much farmland and forest are you willing to cover with solar cells?

    They should change the song lyrics to "They razed Paradise and put up a solar panel".
     

  15. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,654
    Likes: 274, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Bananas

Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.