The weekly visit to the supermarket is really not one of my hobbies. Frankly I find it a waste of time. So it’s time for a new way of getting groceries from a supermarket to my house. And why not according to the following scenario…
At home I choose my groceries through the supermarket’s website and I pay online, nothing new here. But, here it comes… my personal quadcopter flies off to the supermarket to pick up the goods I ordered. The supermarket is a bit special, a supermarket++ so to speak. This supermarket has landing strips on the roof where quadcopters can pick up stuff.
The supermarkt++ , groceries are picked by a robotic system, this can look something like in this…
Or like this :-)…
You get the picture right ;-). In the end the groceries are placed on some kind of pallet or plaform on the roof of the supermarket to be picked up by the quadcopter. Through a RFID tag or QR tag on the delivery, the quadcopter knows which goods are mine. The quadcopters from and to the shop, it will look like a beehive.
Of course there are always people who don’t have a personal quadcopter (yes, it happens). In this case, the goods will be brought home by the supermarket’s swarm of quadcopters (of course against extra costs ;-).
The distance-to-supermarket is never really large in the Netherlands, a GIS calculation reveals this (see below). This is a good thing as a quadcopter has a limited flying range.
As the quadcopter is small, it can bring maybe about 1kg per flight, so the warehouse has to provide stuff in small quantities (like coke in seperate cans instead of in a sixpack glued together). Further the goods should be put in some standardized box so that the quadcopter can easily pick them up with a grabber and brings them home.
The quadcopter will have to make several trips but hey who cares, it can work the whole day while I’m in the office, and at the end of the day the job will be done I’m sure (unless you have a big party planned, but then all the quadcopters of the supermarket come to rescue :-).
If the quadcopter breaks down completely in flight and the stuff is still there waiting at the end of the day, the warehouse system will send me an SMS or email that my quadcopter has died and that I have to pick up the goods myself (bugger).
At home the quadcopter flies through an internet connected cat flap kind of system or some airlock configuration somewhere in the wall or on top of the house (depending on the type of house). The door recognizes the quadcopter and opens automatically when the quadcopter approaches (quadcopter sends position and identification code to cat flap when close to home). Sometimes the quadcopter will fly to it’s docking station for a few minutes to recharge batteries and then will continue with the next flight(s).
Inside the house, with a bit of tweaking we can make some cold place (box) in which the quadcopter can easily drop the stuff that has to stay cold or frozen. The other stuff it can place on a shelf somewhere in the kitchen. When I come home the only thing I have to do is putting the stuff in the drewers (happy to do that).
A bit further in the future even that last step isn’t necessary anymore. The quadcopter just drops stuff on the kitchen worktop and a household robot will do the rest… I take the green one I think ;-).
If we can make this use case possible I’m a happy man!