Hold the Solar!

Problems facing the rooftop solar industry: as homeowners sign up in record numbers for cheap solar power, utilities are pulling the emergency lever. Massive additions of rooftop solar to the grid are creating surges and crashes in energy because of the unpredictable nature of the sun’s power. This article foreshadows the future to come for rooftop solar: homeowners will need to begin paying higher costs to help upgrade the grid and accommodate their shiny, new panels…

http://www.newsmax.com/US/solar-energy-hawaii/2013/12/16/id/542023

Advertisements

We Need Delivery Drones, but the Logistics are Tough.

My objective here is to get people seeing things through a broader perspective.  I always see these instinctive responses where people freak out anytime news about robots comes out.  A development like this is not always bad though, and many times it can actually make things better for humanity.  I’ll show you why:

I saw the news today and yes, I will admit that my first instinct was a bit of fear.  I think it’s natural.  We see a game-changer like this and we all start to think of the impending war against Cyborgs.  However, my first instinct has now been replaced with utter joy at the thought of delivery drones coming into the market and instead fear that the FAA will shut the whole thing down.

Three simple points:

1) One delivery drone carries up to FIVE pounds of merchandise.  What if I told you that delivery vans are the ones that take jobs away!?  We have one worker delivering somewhere close to one thousand pounds of goods, and now we will be replacing him with delivery machines that require manufacturing, maintenance, tracking, repair, and distribution centers.  Why is our sudden instinct that this technology will take our jobs away?

2) Reduced traffic and emissions.  If you’ve ever been to Los Angeles, you are aware of the fact that people can sometimes be on the verge of committing suicide due to traffic jams.  It literally sucks.  I can’t even understate how bad it is.  Given the fact that our highway infrastructure is hardly progressing, and definitely not growing, shouldn’t we welcome the prospect

Image

of unmanned delivery vehicles taking a small share of vehicles off the road?

3) Delivery companies will evolve.  They have incentive to create change.  In the end, it may be that the delivery drones are simply too costly.  If FedEx or DHL, for instance, does a pricing comparison, they might find that a simple change to diesel engines is all that’s needed to make delivery drones obsolete.  In fact, delivery drones seem like a costly investment, and they could be a waste of money for Amazon.

Either way, I think it’s a fantastic idea, and would love to see it happen.  Amazon needs to work out the logistics of thousands of blades flying through suburban neighborhoods, but other than that, it could become a tremendous asset to society.