In the PPP concept the "Pigeon" is simply a robotic device which can pick up a Smart Case from one Package Router and deliver it to the next. As most Routers will be at roof height the Pigeon must be partly or wholly based on an aerial platform. Though we envisage multicopters will be the primary platform at first hybrid ground and aerial, fixed and rotary and even battery internal combustion powered devices would be possible as long as it meets the specifications. Limits and tolerances are yet to be worked out but the following are our starting point.
A Pigeon must be able to:
- Grip and release the top connector of the Smart Case securely in a fully controlled manner.
- Read the 3PDN and ensure they are gripping the correct Smart Case.
- Move autonomously between Package Routers with no human input.
- Respond with built in collision avoidance for static and moving objects.
- Be able to collide with people and property without easily injuring them.
- Operate in all conditions under a defined decibel limit.
A Pigeon should also be able to:
- Reach the destination Package Router with the Smart Case without needing to charge.
- Operate in the prevailing weather conditions of the area where it is based. Being grounded due to high winds, rain or snow should be the exception not the rule.
- Be able to resist GPS spoofing and other forms of remote hacking.
The original idea for the Physical Package Protocol was for quadcopters to do a majority of the work in a network though with the introduction of the Mule concept their role has changed. There is a huge amount of research and development being done in the hobby and professional drone community which we follow very closely. Though at present Pigeons as we envisage them would not be cost effective enough to compete with human delivery in cities, in remote areas drone delivery platforms being tested and in some cases they are already out competing humans on price.