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11/07/2002

Fast Transport of Packages

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  If anyone has ever played the PC game Grim Fandango, there is a machine which sends messages through the DOD building. I think we could expand that idea to have a virtual network of package delivery systems. You would simply put the package into the containter, close the lid and enter where you want the package to go. This would release the package into a very large tube which would push the package to its destination via vacuum. There would be sensors that detect where the package is going, so that when it gets very close (and there is no package between it and the destination, a cushion is released, stopping the package, which is then lifted using a rising platform to where the person at the other destination can get it. The cushion would then be detracted to let other packages flow. The package would be tracked using the FedEx like system (perhaps using GPS technology?) which tracks its packages. The first system would connect major centres, which then would have subsystems to join the major cities in those general areas. Finally a third subsystem might be used to connect the smaller cites in the area, although at this point the current system (e.g. UPS coming to your door using their brown vans) would suffice. So the package would simply go around the globe to major centres, and then put into a different system of package tubes which serves the local area, and so on until it reaches its destination.
  Realistically, this is a very long term idea, but in the nearer future it would make sense to connect the hubs that all the package companies fly to with these tubes.
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Derek
 
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