April 19, 2009 at 1:30 am #887
We were discussing home automation/assistive technology in the seasteading IRC chat, today. I was reminded of a link that I finally found, regarding the use of robots in hydroponic gardening: http://www.csail.mit.edu/feature9
Granted, as two of my children have spina bifida and one has cerebral palsy, assistive technology is a topic I try to keep up with. Here’s my current thinking for home automation, though the page needs updating: http://web.me.com/aeolius/April 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm #5600
I agree, automation and robotics would greatly help seasteads. From the looks of it, many of the members so far are tech-based, pasty nerdlings- myself included. Not very good at farming, sailing, or mechanical maintenance. Guess what seasteads desperately need: Farming. Sailing. Mechanical maintenance. It’s not to say I won’t manage, anyway; I just have a lot to learn between now and setting sail. Creating robotic gardeners would greatly increase the marketability of ‘steads, making life on the sea much easier and more accessable to Joe Customer. Plus, a central computerized hub would be great for defense and maintenance, and a GPS based navigation system would help moving these things tremendously. Furthermore, I’v had a couple ideas for stability that call for data input and mechanical output- robots. So, yes. Automation is a plus. Now we just need to design the robots themselves and somehow proect their gears and wires and stuff from corrosive salt water.May 14, 2009 at 9:18 pm #6001
Maintenance time could be reduced and made more efficient if maintenance needs and the current status of various systems were tracked via computer. I definitely see each platform having a centralized computer, and in my nerdy nature I see an equipment rack in a utility room serving thin clients (think 12vdc-powered Mini- and Pico-ITX units) throughout the structure controlling robotics, monitoring sensors, and interfacing with humans. It’d be fantastic if work could start on some kind of open-source ‘platform automation’ system. The requirements are in some ways similar to existing home automation systems, and it’d probably be possible to hack up a HAL system to meet our needs, but that wouldn’t be open-source.May 31, 2009 at 3:06 pm #6250
This security-drone robot has an automatic balance system and movement capabilities. Any of you think it could be modified and expanded to a seastead or would that be too expensive and complicated? Right now I can see fuel costs alone would be prohibitive of such a system, but still…
Hope it helps.May 31, 2009 at 9:58 pm #6259
I expect that any seastead will make extensive use of automated UAVs for border surveillance and security. I have been looking at the Draganflyer, but for real long-term airtime something like the CamCopter will be needed. I expect moored aerostats with video payloads to be used extensively as well.
You can check DIYDrones for many examples of people making their own low-cost UAVs. These are fully automated with GPS, autopilot, video systems, etc. Very interesting stuff!
I also assume that UUVs will be used a lot, for damage surveys of the structure below the waterline and for monitoring of mooring lines and anchors…or propulsion systems in the case of mobile seasteads.June 1, 2009 at 3:09 am #6261
vincecateParticipantJune 1, 2009 at 3:54 pm #6265
While security will be a big issue on the ‘steads, I was thinking to make a really, really big version of this UAV, modify it for sea travel, and live on that. Of course, this is an oversimplification, but the balance and stability displayed in the video seem like major goals for ‘steads, and thus a way to take the UAV stability system and slap it on to a big boat might work. Thanks for your input, though, I had not thought of patrol bots being needed for ‘steads. I’m still thinking single-family, so cameras mounted at possible entry points ought suffice for security.
Hope this helps.June 1, 2009 at 10:05 pm #6277
really big version of this UAV, modify it for sea travel, and live on that.
Keeping something that size aloft would require enormous amounts of energy. You would be better suited to looking at something like http://www.aeromodeller2.be/page1.htm and other floating systems. They can also be kept in place using GPS systems.
I was told by a friend to look at a company called Cybernetix, who work on autonomous UUVs that can do basic oil rig repair without the need for an operator. I looked at their website and there wasn’t much there. I’ll have to do more research…automating seastead hull surveys and basic repair would be a great time saver.June 18, 2009 at 11:02 pm #6626
For most of the designs I’ve seen for the seasteads, it seems that security isn’t going to be much of an issue because it will be extremely easy to limit access. Motion sensors and security cameras will be enough to alert the locals of any problems. Pirate attacks are motivated by high values cargo that can either be sold off or held for ransom. Seasteads probably won’t have much in the was of super valuable cargo or any business/country to demand a ransom from.
Also, pirates go for targets that have no defense. As is the case on the Somali Pirate problem, any sign of significant violent reaction from the crew or attached security crew, pretty much causes the pirates to abandon the cause as there are easier targets available. Plus, since ‘steaders will be very far off shore, only large ships will be able to make the approach and those will be picked up on radar long before they get close.June 25, 2009 at 2:45 am #6697
Yes, being far out at sea definitely means that radar could give you good advanced warning. And really, the menacing waving of assault rifles should be enough to send any pirates on their way to a less defended target.June 25, 2009 at 6:12 am #6698
I’d be more worried about ransom demands for threats to demolish the seastead. I imagine it wouldn’t be that hard to sink a stationary or slow moving seastead by loading a boat full of explosives and bringing it alongside. I believe it was Future Weapons (TV show) that had an episode where they talked about a 2001 attack on a US Navy ship that occurred this way, and was successful doing, IIRC, a billion+ dollars of damage. This would be a reasonable goal if seasteads were either profitable (through aquaculture or resort/casino businesses) or cost a lot of money to make and had wealthy financial backers. This may have already been discussed in the defense thread, I still haven’t read through that one yet. Either way, I’m getting off the topic of automation. Sorry about that.June 25, 2009 at 6:22 pm #6709
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