By José Luis Arcos González
Have you ever thought how easy it would be not having to go down to the street to drop the litter? Or being able to receive packages from your online shopping despite not being at home when the package arrives? ¿Or ask for food deliveries and find the food directly on your kitchen table?
All these things are possible with a wider use of logistical pipelines. In this post I want to show you how useful these systems can be to modern society, which functionalities they can have, and which results we can achieve.
Firstly, I am going to define what a logistical pipeline is: it consists of a system of pipelines whit square or circle section that allows objects moving between blocks of flats and the street. Inside these tubes, things move through, whether from the houses to the street or the other way around. They work automatically. Objects move thanks to the action of air streams, water currents, cabins moved by wheels, cabins moved by chains…
This invention is not used very much nowadays, and it never includes all the functionalities it can have. For example, in Scandinavia, it has been implemented in some locations a system that allows the user to drop the litter from their kitchen, by the action of a pipeline that works by suction, which sends the rubbish to the refuse containers in the street. However, this example only has that functionality. Conducts could have many other uses.
These are the functionalities that I think logistical pipelines can have. Besides, they all can work together at the same time.
They can introduce package and letters inside the houses with no need the owner is present. This aspect is remarkably interesting due to the growth of the delivery sector currently. Additionally, it could even connect the mall with the houses directly.
They can bring the food from restaurants or supermarkets bought on the internet from the portal to the kitchen of the house. It is another sector in growth. It could even connect the shops, restaurants and supermarket to the houses directly, in an extended version of the system.
They can send the rubbish to the refuse containers in the street using a panel of buttons where the user selects which container is the destination. This way the user does not have to carry the rubbish bag to the container, with the effort it requires, specially for older or reduced mobility users. Furthermore, it increases the number of people recycling because it simplifies the process.
It helps to send objects between neighbours. An example would be when your neighbour is cooking and forgot to buy an important ingredient and asks you for it. With this system people do not have to get dressed to give the object to his neighbour nor leave the house.
Apart from the domestic uses, the logistical pipelines can help in the industry, supplying fuel to gas stations or materials of construction to the works.
In the following pictures, I show my design for a logistical pipeline that includes all the domestic functionalities I described before.
Picture 1: Croquis of the cabin system seen from above.
Picture 2: Stops of the pipeline.
The system designed is made up of a conduct of square section through which the cabin moves. The side of the square is one meter long, enough for a familiar size pizza to fit in, or a rubbish bag. It would be placed in a block of flats that can be frequently found in Madrid; eight floors tall with four apartments in each floor. The pipeline is built in the intersection of the four properties, to offer the service to all of them. It connects the kitchens of the houses with the portal and the refuse containers.
In front of the door of the logistical pipeline, a table will be placed, to hold the packages that are expelled from the cabin by the action of a piston. Next to the door of the cabin, the control panel can take place.
In a more complex version of the system, the houses could be connected to the shopping centre, allowing the users to ask for the shopping or the food to deliver, letting the user receive what he bought directly.
Picture 3: working of the cabin.
For this example that I have drown, the cabin is pulled by wheels placed in the four corners, as Picture 3 shows. The position of the wheels allows the cabin to turn 90 degrees keeping the orientation (de bottom of the cabin down and the head up). This way, the cabin can move all over a vertical plane.
If this system was put in work widely, delivery mans or riders wouldn´t be necessary anymore, we could do the shopping without having to go to pick it up nor paying anybody for the transport. Packages could be delivered even if the receptor is not in the house.
The cost per person of implementing these pipelines in a tall building of apartments would be very reduced because there would be many users. If we imagine a sustainable city of skyscrapers, this system would be a very practical solution. In this case, the restaurants placed on the ground floor could deliver the food easily through the cabin to the houses above.
To sum up, this example is a solution to confront current challenges in society, such as digitalization, recycling, online shopping, help to reduced mobility people… I think it could have a good future as a product and could generate notable benefits for all the users due to its variated functionalities.