A Proposal for the Development of a Robot-Based Physical Distribution and Transportation Network for Urban Environments

Mary Kathryn Thompson, Andrew G. Brooks

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch


    The personal automobile ushered in a renaissance in individual freedom of movement. This general-purpose vehicle is capable of fulfilling almost all of the local and regional transportation needs of the average citizen. It can commute the owner to work and leisure, ferry passengers, deliver packages and groceries, and in many cases can even haul other modes of transportation like bicycles, snowmobiles, trailers and boats. However, like any general-purpose system, serious inefficiencies must be tolerated in individual tasks in order to provide such a wide breadth of capabilities. In the computer industry, general purpose processors initially replaced machines engineered for specific tasks, but more recently are being replaced by dedicated, high-performance hardware such as graphics processors. Similarly, the technology associated with transportation, localization and tracking lends itself to the consideration of specialized systems for realizing quantum leaps in efficiency. We therefore propose a novel variant of an automated transportation system: a dedicated network of transportation robots for delivering small-to-medium scale physical objects within the range of commuter
    automobiles for use by the general public. This system is intended to reduce the inefficiency, energy waste,
    pollution and congestion associated with transporting a large general-purpose vehicle and a human driver in
    order to deliver small quantities of physical goods in high density urban areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd KKCNN Symposium on Civil Engineering
    Number of pages4
    Publication date2010
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    Event23rd KKCNN Symposium on Civil Engineering - National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
    Duration: 13 Nov 201015 Nov 2010


    Conference23rd KKCNN Symposium on Civil Engineering
    LocationNational Taiwan University
    Country/TerritoryTaiwan, Province of China


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