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

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

  1. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    In the real world, the people along the way will steal the cargo.... Unless you provide a swarm of armed patrol boats.

    A large cargo vessel works better.
     
  2. Matternetaqua
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    Matternetaqua Junior Member

    Sure, but losing a human life is a bit more dramatic than losing a bunch of pieces of metal and epoxy. Wouldn't you think?
     
  3. Matternetaqua
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    Matternetaqua Junior Member

    Less than what the West has covered with concrete and tar.
     
  4. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    More productivity results from the concrete and tar than would be accomplished with the solar cells.
     
  5. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    There are good people and bad. The bad people will always figure a way to exploit things. But progress has gotten humanity out of middle ages. Things like concrete and tar have provided for roads and shelter and increased the overall good of humanity. Sure humanity has paved a few too many roads but that does not make them evil.

    Just because something is different doesn't make it good or bad, common sense and good engineering, and financial sense will tell you that a lot of ideas are pie in the sky.

    Bad ideas ECO ideas hamper real ideas that work, sure new ideas need to be explored but not in a blind consensus of wishful thinking.
     
  6. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Bravo, mydauphin.
     
  7. Lister

    Lister Previous Member

    If they didn't exist, your life as you know it will have not be possible.
    So this sentence show your lake of knowledge about real life transportation and energy.
    Been as you said a project writer is just that: a "project" writer, meaning out of touch and just writing for money about everything and nothing.
    Electric is trendy, you jump on your laptop.
    Stay away of what you don't comprehend, and try novels.
     
  8. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    A few quick points

    Batteries do not last for ever. And you must add in disposal costs

    Check the real costs of battery charging. My understanding is that the reason an electric car is cheap to run is because the power stations buy their fuel for much lower cost than does the general public. A transport professor in the UK has said that an electric car is no more "economic" than a small diesel car in terms of energy used

    I have travelled in dugout canoes in Central America, the Caribbean and the Amazon and seen many local fishermen using unnecessarily large 2 stroke outboards

    I have also watched dugout canoes being made.

    They have a very short life, and are increasing expensive to build.

    So as a first step I would suggest having the transport vessels properly designed, rather than just using any old tree. Then get them made in a material that lasts longer than 7 years. And finally, power them with a more efficient engine. Or even revert to sails for non perishable cargo

    Instead of scrapping fishing boats in the west why not ship them to the developed world. After all, that is what is done with, eg old American school buses and dockside cranes when ports convert to containerisation

    The first obvious step if you really want to use solar panels is to get an electric car and try charging it's battery using solar energy

    recycle recycle recycle

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  9. Matternetaqua
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    Matternetaqua Junior Member

    Good ideas, Richard.

    I immediately see that you have experience with dugout canoes, because I have witnessed exactly what you describe.

    In fact, the idea of Matternet on the water, came out of a long line of thinking dealing with improvements on the current use of dugouts.

    I am the first to acknowledge that the idea is far-fetched. But is that a reason to dismiss it as "junk"? Fortunately, not everybody here thinks so.

    When it comes to powering dugouts, there's not much besides outboards, which are pretty expensive to operate on a ton-km basis, and which remain dependent on highly expensive imported fuel.

    We need to look for alternatives.
     
  10. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    What is the rational for making the vessels "autonomous"?
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    The reason they are cheaper per ton has to do with economy of scale. A railroad is much more efficient at moving cargo (several magnitudes more) than a bunch of motor scooters.
     
  12. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Extending this, the railroad and large container ship are several times less expensive per ton shipped and waste less raw material to build for the same freight shipped.
     
  13. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    That's precisely why cargo ships have been growing bigger and bigger through the history. Quite the contrary to what the author of the OP is proposing to do. Hence my previous doubts about estimated cost per ton of transported goods.
     
  14. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    It doesn't explain the Smart Car, though.

    From Celcom at en.wikipedia[​IMG]
     

  15. GTS225
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: Waterloo, Iowa

    GTS225 Junior Member

    An "autonomous" cargo boat, moving through third-world, (excuse me, "developing"), country's waterways.

    I think it's not a bad idea, but I also think it may be ahead of it's time.

    Consider........how accurate are the GPS "maps" that the guidance system will have to use for navigation? How often might some obstacle, (sandbar, log, disabled boat, etc.) pop up in the intended path of this unmanned, autonomous, freight mover? How about the possibility of the river route changing from a natural event, or monsoon season and ensuing high water conditions?

    Let's move on to a human factor that's already been hinted at. You will be dealing with humans, in poor countries. Humans are all tempted to take, if they think they can get away with it. Many of us control the temptation, but we are still subject to it. Let's also throw in the black-market pirates that will surely show up. I suggest your cargo carriers will arrive at thier destination completely barren of goods, if they arrive at all, as the electronics and propulsion system(s) will also have value to pirates.

    I recommend you give much deeper thought to the idea, but not necessarily abandon it. Many thought that Wilbur and Orville Wright were a bit off level too, but they perservered.

    Roger
     
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