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課程來源:TED
     

 

Andreas Raptopoulos 談無路可行?試試無人駕駛飛行器

Andreas Raptopoulos: No roads? There’s a drone for that

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Andreas Raptopoulos

2013年6月演講,2013年11月在TEDGlobal 2013上線

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恒

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後制:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講

世上有10億人無法擁有全年暢通的道路。網際網路架構可提供幫助他們的模式嗎?Matternet創辦者Andreas Raptopoulos認為這是可行的方法。他介紹一種新型運輸系統,藉由電動無人飛行器,將藥物、食品、物資、補給品運輸到任何所需之處。

 

關於Andreas Raptopoulos

Andreas Raptopoulos和他的同事正著手建立運送物品的飛行網路,利用無人駕駛飛行器將所需物品運輸到無法以其他方式送達的地區。

 

為什麼要聽他演講

現今有個趨勢:在電信公司不願費心鋪設網路電纜的地區,當地居民迅速採用行動電話-並創造出遠勝於所謂已開發國家的行動網路服務。同樣模式適用於道路問題嗎?

 

Andreas Raptopoulos希望藉由Matternet-一個使用無人駕駛飛行器,將緊急物資(例如急救和醫療用品)運送至道路無法通行處的計畫。不妨將它想像成自動化四旋翼飛行器組成的接力團隊,藉由類似網際網路般無遠弗屆的飛行網路進行運輸-只是運送的是實質物品。

 

Raptopoulos是設計師、發明家及企業家。在Matternet之前,他創立了FutureAcoustic,這是能根據聽眾環境調整音樂輸出品質的音樂平台。

 

Andreas Raptopoulos的英語網上資料

Website: Matternet

Twitter: @andreasx

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Andreas Raptopoulos 談無路可行?試試無人駕駛飛行器

 

目前世上有十億人無法擁有全年暢通的道路。十億人,地球人口的七分之一,一年當中某些時候與外界完全隔絕。我們無法順利將藥物運送給他們,他們無法獲得關鍵物資,他們無法將貨物運到市場,創造可持續收入。例如撒哈拉以南非洲地區,85%道路無法於濕季使用。相關投資已著手進行,但根據目前情況,估計得花上50年才能符合人們所需。光是美國,就有超過400萬英哩公路。建設成本極高,基礎設施維修成本十分昂貴,且留下大量生態足跡,卻往往擁擠不堪。

 

目睹這種情況,我們思索:是否有更好的解決之道?我們是否能藉由目前最先進的科技,創建一個系統,使這些地區獲得大幅進展,如過去十年間手機為他們帶來的巨大變化?目前這些國家多半擁有卓越的通訊技術,不曾在地底埋過一根銅線。我們能在運輸方面達到相同目標嗎?

 

想像一下這種情況:想像你在Mali一間產房中,有位新生兒需接受緊急藥物治療,你會怎麼做?好,你會利用手機求助,隨即有人收到求助訊息;這是可行的部分。但藥物或許數日後才能抵達,因為路況太糟;這是不可行的部分。

 

我們自信能在數小時內將藥物送達目的地,藉由電動無人飛行器,如圖所示。它目前可進行小量運輸,載重約兩公斤,進行短程飛行,距離約10公里。但這只是覆蓋整個國家、甚至整個大陸的遼闊網路的一部分。它是無遠弗屆、自動化的物流網路;它是運輸物品的網路,我們稱之為Matternet。

 

我們使用三項關鍵技術。第一項是電動無人飛行器;第二項是供飛行器起飛和降落的自動化地面站,它們可藉此更換電池,以進行後續飛行或收發貨物;第三項是管理整個網路的作業系統。

 

我們不妨進一步探討各項技術,首先是UAV(無人駕駛飛行器)。為了滿足不同載重和距離需求,最終我們將使用各種不同的飛行器。目前我們使用的是小型四旋翼飛行器,它可在約15分鐘內將兩公斤物資運送十公里。不妨將它與穿越開發中國家的糟糕道路做個比較,或已開發國家的交通阻塞。它們可自主飛行,這是此項技術的關鍵。因此它們裝設了GPS和其他感測器,以進行地面站之間的導航。每架飛行器都配備自動化負載及電池交換機制,因此這些飛行器可自主導航至各個地面站,停靠、自動換電池,然後再次出發。地面站位於地面上的安全地點,保障飛行任務中最具風險的部分-著陸。它們位於地面上眾所皆知的地點,因此它們之間的路徑亦為人所知,這對整個網路的可靠性來說十分重要。除了滿足飛行器的能源需求,地面站最終將成為商業樞紐,人們可藉此收發貨物。最後一項是管理整個網路的作業系統。它監測所有地面站的天氣資料,透過系統優化飛行器航行路線,避開惡劣的天氣狀況及其他風險因素,優化整個網路的資源使用。

 

我想向各位展示其中一趟飛行過程。這是去年夏天於海地的飛行,我們在那裡進行第一次實地試驗。我們模擬為2010年地震後所設立之難民營運送醫療物資的情形,當地居民愛極了這個玩意兒。

 

我也想讓大家近距離觀察這些飛行器。這是價值3000美元的飛行器,其成本正迅速下降中。我們可在各種天氣狀況下使用它:極熱、極冷、風極強的時候;它們是非常堅固的飛行器。不妨想像一下,如果你的生命取決於這個包裹,無論是在非洲某個地方,或桑迪颶風襲擊後的紐約。下一個問題是,運輸成本是多少?

 

好,事實上,以飛行器將兩公斤物資運輸十公里的成本來說,僅24美分。

 

(掌聲)

 

令人不可思議,但每趟飛行所耗費的能源成本僅兩美分,而我們只是處於起步階段。當我們明白這一點時,認為這是能為世界帶來巨大影響的東西。

 

因此我們想,在世上某處建立像這樣的網路需花費多少錢?我們研究在Lesotho建立愛滋病毒樣本運輸網路的情形。問題在於,如何將它們從收集樣本的診所運往進行分析的醫院?我們想,如果我們的目標範圍涵蓋140平方公里呢?這大約是曼哈頓面積的1.5倍。好,事實上這項花費不到100萬美元。不妨將它與一般基礎設施的投資金額比較,我們認為這可成為新典範的力量。

 

因此我們的結論是:一個關於運輸網路的新點子,以網際網路為構想基礎。它四通八達、屬於點對點系統;它具有雙向性、高度適應性,基礎設施投資要求甚低、留下的生態足跡微乎其微。然而,如果這是一種新模式,必定存在其他用途,也許可用於世上其他地方。

 

因此我們看看地球另一端:我們的城市和大城市(指人口超過百萬的城市)。目前地球有半數人口生活在城市,五億人口生活在大城市,我們正處於速度驚人的城市化浪潮中。光是中國,每兩年就增加一個和紐約一樣大的大城市。這些地方確實有道路基礎設施,但效用極差。交通阻塞是個大問題,因此我們認為在這些地方建設運輸網路是合理的。這是座落於道路和網際網路間的新層次,最初用於運輸輕巧或具急迫性的物品。隨著時間推移,我們希望將它開發成新型運輸工具,這確實是老問題的現代解決方案。它具有延伸性,造成的生態足跡相當少,二十四小時全年無休,如同網際網路。

 

因此當我們幾年前開始進行這個計畫時,許多人對我們說:「這是非常有趣、但瘋狂至極的想法,絕非你們短期內該致力的目標。」當然,我們指的是無人駕駛飛行器。這個技術不僅在西方不受歡迎,對許多生活在貧困國家的人來說也是極不愉快的經歷,尤其是那些經歷過軍事衝突的國家。

 

因此我們為何這麼做?好,我們選擇這目標,不是因為很容易,而是因為它可帶來驚人的影響。想像一下十億人與實質貨物產生的連結,如同手機將他們與資訊連結在一起;想像如果我們在世上建立的下一個大型網路是運輸物品的網路。在開發中國家,我們希望將更好的疫苗送到數百萬人手中,提供他們更好的藥物。它提供我們極大優勢,對抗愛滋病、肺結核及其他流行疾病。隨著時間推移,我們希望它成為經濟交易的新平臺,幫助數百萬人脫離貧困。在已開發國家和新興世界,我們希望它成為一種新型運輸工具,使我們的城市更適合居住。

 

因此對那些仍認為這是科幻小說情節的人,我堅定地告訴你,絕非如此。但我們確實得繼續努力,使它在「現實小說」中成真。

 

謝謝。

 

(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this talk

A billion people in the world lack access to all-season roads. Could the structure of the internet provide a model for how to reach them? Andreas Raptopoulos of Matternet thinks so. He introduces a new type of transportation system that uses electric autonomous flying machines to deliver medicine, food, goods and supplies wherever they are needed.
 
About  Andreas Raptopoulos
Andreas Raptopoulos and his colleagues are building the flying internet of things, using drones to carry essential goods to otherwise inaccessible areas.
 
About the transcript
One billion people in the world today do not have access to all-season roads. One billion people. One seventh of the Earth's population are totally cut off for some part of the year. We cannot get medicine to them reliably, they cannot get critical supplies, and they cannot get their goods to market in order to create a sustainable income. In sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, 85 percent of roads are unusable in the wet season. Investments are being made, but at the current level, it's estimated it's going to take them 50 years to catch up. In the U.S. alone, there's more than four million miles of roads, very expensive to build, very expensive to maintain infrastructure, with a huge ecological footprint, and yet, very often, congested.
 
So we saw this and we thought, can there be a better way? Can we create a system using today's most advanced technologies that can allow this part of the world to leapfrog in the same way they've done with mobile telephones in the last 10 years? Many of those nations have excellent telecommunications today without ever putting copper lines in the ground. Could we do the same for transportation?
 
Imagine this scenario. Imagine you are in a maternity ward in Mali, and have a newborn in need of urgent medication. What would you do today? Well, you would place a request via mobile phone, and someone would get the request immediately. That's the part that works. The medication may take days to arrive, though, because of bad roads. That's the part that's broken.
 
We believe we can deliver it within hours with an electric autonomous flying vehicle such as this. This can transport a small payload today, about two kilograms, over a short distance, about 10 kilometers, but it's part of a wider network that may cover the entire country, maybe even the entire continent. It's an ultra-flexible, automated logistics network. It's a network for a transportation of matter. We call it Matternet.
 
We use three key technologies. The first is electric autonomous flying vehicles. The second is automated ground stations that the vehicles fly in and out of to swap batteries and fly farther, or pick up or deliver loads. And the third is the operating system that manages the whole network.
 
Let's look at each one of those technologies in a bit more detail. First of all, the UAVs. Eventually, we're going to be using all sorts of vehicles for different payload capacities and different ranges. Today, we're using small quads. These are able to transport two kilograms over 10 kilometers in just about 15 minutes. Compare this with trying to trespass a bad road in the developing world, or even being stuck in traffic in a developed world country. These fly autonomously. This is the key to the technology. So they use GPS and other sensors on board to navigate between ground stations. Every vehicle is equipped with an automatic payload and battery exchange mechanism, so these vehicles navigate to those ground stations, they dock, swap a battery automatically, and go out again. The ground stations are located on safe locations on the ground. They secure the most vulnerable part of the mission, which is the landing. They are at known locations on the ground, so the paths between them are also known, which is very important from a reliability perspective from the whole network. Apart from fulfilling the energy requirements of the vehicles, eventually they're going to be becoming commercial hubs where people can take out loads or put loads into the network. The last component is the operating system that manages the whole network. It monitors weather data from all the ground stations and optimizes the routes of the vehicles through the system to avoid adverse weather conditions, avoid other risk factors, and optimize the use of the resources throughout the network.
 
I want to show you what one of those flights looks like. Here we are flying in Haiti last summer, where we've done our first field trials. We're modeling here a medical delivery in a camp we set up after the 2010 earthquake. People there love this.
 
And I want to show you what one of those vehicles looks like up close. So this is a $3,000 vehicle. Costs are coming down very rapidly. We use this in all sorts of weather conditions, very hot and very cold climates, very strong winds. They're very sturdy vehicles. Imagine if your life depended on this package, somewhere in Africa or in New York City, after Sandy. The next big question is, what's the cost?
 
Well, it turns out that the cost to transport two kilograms over 10 kilometers with this vehicle is just 24 cents.
 
(Applause)
 
And it's counterintuitive, but the cost of energy expended for the flight is only two cents of a dollar today, and we're just at the beginning of this. When we saw this, we felt that this is something that can have significant impact in the world.
 
So we said, okay, how much does it cost to set up a network somewhere in the world? And we looked at setting up a network in Lesotho for transportation of HIV/AIDS samples. The problem there is how do you take them from clinics where they're being collected to hospitals where they're being analyzed? And we said, what if we wanted to cover an area spanning around 140 square kilometers? That's roughly one and a half times the size of Manhattan. Well it turns out that the cost to do that there would be less than a million dollars. Compare this to normal infrastructure investments. We think this can be -- this is the power of a new paradigm.
 
So here we are: a new idea about a network for transportation that is based on the ideas of the Internet. It's decentralized, it's peer-to-peer, it's bidirectional, highly adaptable, with very low infrastructure investment, very low ecological footprint. If it is a new paradigm, though, there must be other uses for it. It can be used perhaps in other places in the world.
 
So let's look at the other end of the spectrum: our cities and megacities. Half of the Earth's population lives in cities today. Half a billion of us live in megacities. We are living through an amazing urbanization trend. China alone is adding a megacity the size of New York City every two years. These are places that do have road infrastructure, but it's very inefficient. Congestion is a huge problem. So we think it makes sense in those places to set up a network of transportation that is a new layer that sits between the road and the Internet, initially for lightweight, urgent stuff, and over time, we would hope to develop this into a new mode of transportation that is truly a modern solution to a very old problem. It's ultimately scalable with a very small ecological footprint, operating in the background 24/7, just like the Internet.
 
So when we started this a couple of years ago now, we've had a lot of people come up to us who said, "This is a very interesting but crazy idea, and certainly not something that you should engage with anytime soon." And of course, we're talking about drones, right, a technology that's not only unpopular in the West but one that has become a very, very unpleasant fact of life for many living in poor countries, especially those engaged in conflict.
 
So why are we doing this? Well, we chose to do this one not because it's easy, but because it can have amazing impact. Imagine one billion people being connected to physical goods in the same way that mobile telecommunications connected them to information. Imagine if the next big network we built in the world was a network for the transportation of matter. In the developing world, we would hope to reach millions of people with better vaccines, reach them with better medication. It would give us an unfair advantage against battling HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other epidemics. Over time, we would hope it would become a new platform for economic transactions, lifting millions of people out of poverty. In the developed world and the emerging world, we would hope it would become a new mode of transportation that could help make our cities more livable.
 
So for those that still believe that this is science fiction, I firmly say to you that it is not. We do need to engage, though, in social fiction to make it happen.
 
Thank you.
 
(Applause)

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