Select Page

So Here is a little alternative thinking to prime those among you ready for it: lots of blather in FaceButt and elsewhere about “changing the system” The Transition” “RBE” etc.

But really, its more subtle than you think:

Case in point: I need maybe 6-7 tons of crushed rock for the floor of the new shed…

The original soil is clay and its either cracked, or mud, depending on moisture level…

I could just buy the rock from a materials company for about $70 a yard and I need 5 or so yards (Limestone is roughly 1.5 ton/yard) so tax and delivery about $600 bux…

cheap enough…

But is it?

First off I don’t have $600 extra lying around for this (sub) project,

Secondly big quarries are becoming a plague on the landscape all over the world.

And, significant to the discussion, I calculate that there are 275,000 tons of limestone right beneath my feet…

Furthermore, there are probably 4-5 tons of surface stones that are problematic for mowing and other activities in the small clearings on this forested land, their removal would pose little threat to the aesthetics or vitality of this place.

So: I rounded up 5 or 6 wheelbarrow loads to see how well this works: for the base layer I needed 2 or 3 inch crushed stone… So I threw anything that diameter and under into these two piles, anything that looked too big got whacked with a 4 pound hammer…

Now, I can sense the incredulity: “You intend to smash 5 tons of rock with a HAND HAMMER?!?!” are you raving? Off your meds?, WTF?!

But, I would ask, bear with the rest of the logic: I have done a lot of these kinds of “Studies”, its a way of evaluating every step of a problem that you want to solve with an unconventional solution… Ergo:

IF I walked around the property with VR goggles on and Identified areas on the ground where I wanted the rocks picked up:

And, IF that data was then used to deploy the little robot bases I have posted lately…

(I have components for 3 complete units minus the steering and suspension parts, which I have drawings for and will create soon…)

And, the robots do not need to be very capable on their own,

BUT a couple servers on the local sub-net need to have a vision system to evaluate the video feeds from the bases.

And, have been trained to know the difference between a rock, a stick and maybe a rabbit…

So that’s the steps for retrieval in a broad sense, then how hard will it be to transport small batches of rock from the point of collection to some larger mobile unit capable of sorting or screening said rock and feeding the larger pieces to a hydraulic scissor crusher (about the size of a car jack, nothing huge is needed)

Also, don’t think I’m unaware of the complexities involved in path planning for the platform, sensor fusion, collision avoidance, compliant safety, end effector path planning, object grasping, power requirements, alternative retrieval strategy hierarchies et al. for the real solution…

Then the crushed rock is transported to the shed floor and deposited, now this seems stupidly elaborate if I were the only one who ever needed crushed stone,

BUT, the first paragraph of this link tells a different story:

(TLDR 1.48 billion tons of crushed rock worth 16 billion USD in 2016 (US numbers))

So a system of general purpose, small scale robots that could satisfy domestic backyard stone usage (and 1000 other tasks) in a more environmentally friendly way at human scale…

This probably won’t replace the aggregate industry, but these solar or alternative energy powered robots could take a little nip out of the primarily diesel powered equipment doing it today, and by going through the exercise of doing it by hand, its obvious that small tools (on the scale of hand-tools) could more that adequately perform these tasks…

In 10 years, your neighborhood CubeSpawn factory could crank out 100 general purpose ones for the neighborhood and 1 or 2 each of the specialized ones either on demand or a few times a year when whatever they do is needed,

If their modular maybe its just some attachments for the GP ones…

Now landscaping or construction can be as physical as you want, or point and click depending on your inclination and health…

In this speculative narrative there has been a transition away from one way of doing things to another and it didn’t take much to pull it off.

Support CubeSpawn for more like this! http://patreon.com/CubeSpawn

Secured By miniOrange