Initial ideas - Group 4 - 2018/2019, Semester B, Quartile 3

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Initial ideas

In this section, we present some initial ideas that were formed at the start of the project. Each of the initial ideas includes a short description of the problem related to the idea. Ultimately, the chosen idea is given.

Robotic surgery

With all the progress in robotics, we have now reached a stage in time where it is (almost) possible to let robots do surgery. There have been quite some recent breakthroughs, and it is also already applied to some scale in hospitals. However, there are some aspects to this robotic technology that need closer investigation.

Medical rehabilitation with the help of robots

Many people suffer from injuries that may require long-term medical rehabilitation. This rehabilitation is typically complex and takes a lot of staff to help guide the patients through the process. Then there might be benefits for both the patients and the staff helping the patients with rehabilitation if robotics were to help the rehabilitation process.

Drone interception

Between 19 and 21 December 2018, hundreds of flights were cancelled at Gatwick Airport, following reports of drone sightings close to the runway. The airport did not have any measures to prevent this issue. Many users of airlines were stranded, and airlines (enterprises) lost. The airport only had detection and tracking devices, but no counter-drone mechanism. Just like birds, drones can cause enormous damage to aeroplane engines and are therefore illegal around airports. However, no airport yet has a fully working anti-drone defence mechanism, while most airports do have anti-bird systems, consisting of noise mechanisms to scare birds away.

Drone pesticides

An important consequence of the increased global population is the demand for food. In order to meet these demands, farmers require the use of pesticides to ensure enough yield from their crops. However, the overuse of pesticides and fertiliser can have huge negative impacts on society. Hence we the use of drones to analyse the state of farmland and automatically apply fertiliser and pesticides as needed could make a farmer’s job easier, making the production more eco-friendly.

Trading bot

Trading bots have been used on the stock market for quite some time already, but ever after the boom of cryptocurrencies, the usage of these bots has become ever more increasing. The stakeholders of these bots are people that are active in, for example, the stock market and cryptocurrency market. People could use such a bot in order to achieve a passive income. Designing such a bot for interested parties would be interesting. Furthermore, it would be interesting to consider the ethical discussion regarding the permission to use such trading bots in the stock market.

Networking AI

Gridlock is problematic in large western cities, but also many large cities with underdeveloped infrastructure in countries like Asia. It massively hinders any form of transport, and also unnecessarily increases pollution. Forms of AI in private cars or forms of public transport such as buses or trains might help reduce this problem. On an abstract level, buses or trains could adjust their schedule or route such that they are deployed at places where passengers are waiting in real time, not where they are expected to be waiting. This way, one might prevent the case where two half-full buses are driving on similar routes. By sharing information and adapting to real-time information, in this case only one bus would be necessary.

Use drones to monitor and improve marine life

Due to climate change, many problems arise. A large part of these problems emerges in the seas and underwater. Examples include changes to the habitat of marine mammals, irreversible damage to coral reefs, and already endangered species being threatened quicker by their changing environment. Current use for them is flying through and capturing fluid samples of the exhaled fluids of whales, in order to monitor their health. Specific autonomous robots designed for underwater operation might help monitor the state of coral reefs, and introduce new coral to a reef to support its growth.

Chosen concept

The concept we have chosen considers Drone interception but applied in the setting of airports. Initially, we consider this concept in a more general context, but after the feedback provided by the professors and internal discussion, the group has decided to limit itself to the context of airports.


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