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


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.

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  1. not to be too pessimistic – I hope this all works out but better put alarms and threatening devices on the stations if not the drones themselves…people will shoot these things down without a doubt, due to the level of poverty in some of those places.

  2. I thought it was just me. This guys accent is irritating! They should have used someone with a different tune? I'm sure he is a nice person though….

  3. I keep getting distracted by the fact that the microphone picks up every little smack of saliva in his mouth.

  4. We can use this technology to transport patient samples between campuses at the Medical Center in Houston, TX. 1:58 forward…

  5. I see a huge flaw in this plan. His example about the woman in Mali in need of medical attention for her child… using her phone…. What phone , charged with what power? 21% of Mali have access to a mobile phone (Source: Gallup)…

  6. great if everyone behaves themselves. The criminal element will be shooting them down and stealing the payload. 

  7. Cool technologies that were once reserved for science fiction are invading our reality!

    This one is already a reality, it just needs proper funding & further examination.

    Love it !!

  8. One fly, moving around my ear is already annoying, having hundreds of these flying around, uff I prefer they focus on silencing them first before going to such scale. 

  9. The early adopters of this technology will be drug dealers and arms dealers.
    Building roads would be the best long term solution.
    We must ask where the billions of dollars sent to Africa to build roads has gone.

  10. To all the people thinking it would be that easy to shot down the drone or take it other wise:
    I encourage you do fly a drone for yourself, take it to its maximum altitude of the signal range (which the ones in the video dont have, more a physical flight hight limit) and try to follow it with your eyes. You dont need extreme hights to be save from gunshots. And if the landing station is a big enough area. you can fly them pinpoint over them, still having the save altitude and then just decelerate. Even if you shot it, it will land in the "save" landing zone. It´ll be no more than vandalism.

    I would be more concerned about technical malfunkction. But that all vehicle suffer from the same.

  11. Delivers medicide at low cost and at a snap of a finger.
    Could also deliver Pizza, Fried Chicken, and Taco.
    And the best part? Drug Deliveries, Spy Cameras, and IEDs

  12. Dramatic improvements in battery technology are needed to make these things useful beyond a mile or two.
    Energy density is always the problem…

  13. I feel like this is very impractical for the time we are in. Maybe 15 or 20 years but definability not now.

  14. Good concept for unreachable areas. Would become a bit noisy though in a megacity with all the drones flying past your window.

  15. Someone give this man a glass of water, please! I couldn't finish watching this video just because of the sounds of his dry mouth while speaking. Is it just me or does dry mouthed speakers drive other people crazy too?

  16. YA, .24 cents until you add in the greed factor! This is where someone like Obama adds a tax to the equation to pay for yet another entitlement program! In the end it will cost a lot more than they think! Sadly, this is how the world works! greed rules all! #greed  

  17. Good idea, but who will pay this in countries where the population can't afford it? Nothing comes free, unfortunately.

  18. I fly drones and wish this would work but there are many things not mentioned when he says the cost of a flight is a few cents. Batteries are expensive and have limited life, bearings go bad, propellers break, birds of pray have attacked mine in NYC where there isnt much wild life, curious people will be hurt by moving propellers and people will steal a $3000 multirotor.

  19. This is a good solution to a huge problem, but I'd not be so quick to deem all drones benevolent. Take a look at what the US is currently using them for in places like Yemen, Pakistan, or Iran and you won't find them so cute and helpful. We must make sure that if we decide to let these things into our lives that we don't get too comfortable with them. They are more evil than good.

  20. this is genius! also, i feel like this guy learned english from a computer's text to speech feature… cause thats what he sounds like. 

  21. This is the only TED talk that has ever got me furious, since there's nothing to substantiate the idea and the argument. The idealist idea behind it deserves praise, but the specific use is based on so many assumptions and so much lack of knowledge of the context that makes it just ludicrous. Lack of sustainability, not taking into account the local context, not using local solutions…

    Will a farmer be able to transport 1 MT of tomatoes with your little drones? And pay for it? NO. Will that sick baby be able to get surgery in a nearby/faraway hospital thanks to your little toy? Will you hang it from it? Will a mother trust a 'thing' that she can't understand to take her precious baby up in the air? NO.

    Plus, your so-called 'solution' prevents people from coming out of their villages. No, sir. A drone cannot substitute a road and the many chances (exchange of ideas/culture, trade, etc.) that it brings to the community. It's two-way. And it's not only about bringing 'stuff' but about enabling people to go elsewhere.

    I ain't no Luddite, but I also admit that technology cannot solve everything. It's great when people leapfrog, but you can't leapfrog in all places and at all times. Sadly, certain places need to go through a type of technology before a more advanced one makes its way in. And 'the graveyard of development' is sadly full of broken toys and foreign tools brought to the wrong place at the wrong time, thinking it would solve all problems, just to realize that 'oh, we didn't realize they can't afford maintenance'.

    Bored of people thinking they can solve poverty with their little magic wands… Help people help themselves, or get out of the way.


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