Personal Mailboxes

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Links within all Brainstorm Concepts
Brainstorm Main Package Receiving Concepts Package Delivery Concepts Personal Mailbox Concepts

Contents

The Operational Environment

Focus on deliveries that go to houses with some kind of lawn/backyard and/or curbside location.
This EXCLUDES: apartments, multi-person complexes or houses in heavily populated environment without requirements above.
The environment offers possible space for a drone to land for delivery whether on the house or in the back/front yard or mailbox as drop off point.

Assumptions

  • Drone can get to the mailbox & make a viable drop.
  • Drones can survive all weather conditions.
  • Each mailbox has a specific transponder code/ key correlating with either the address of the house or owner of the mailbox (depending on concept).
  • Mail courier can get into mailboxes with universal key (Only to the designs that imply that mail courier may access).
  • People know relatively either the day or time a package is going to arrive (regardless of whether they will be home at that time or not).

Personal Mailbox Concepts

21-Sept-14 @ 23:54 Note: Mini SWOT analysis were not done due time constraints and other commitments, I did, however, place +/- comments for each design as well as produce a "score from the requirements chart as the bottom.

Concept 1 - The Birdhouse / Package Perch

How it Works
Sketch of Mailbox
Concept Description: This is basically like a mailbox on a pole. The mailbox has a climbing mechanism to go up and down the pole after a package delivery has been made. This mailbox is slightly larger than the packages delivered by drone.

How it works:Running through the scenario, the mailbox is perched up at the top of the pole. When a drone is making a delivery is sends a transponder signal. Upon receiving this signal the mailbox opens and stays open until the signal transmission stops. The drone then hovers above the mailbox and drop the package by means of a dropping mechanism (ie. electromagnet or just dropping). After the drone completes drone and leaves, the signal stops and the lid closes and secures. Then the mailbox unlocks from the pole and gradually makes decent until it has reached the ground (or designated height) and locks into place for security. A person with the key can then either manually open the lid with the key or use the built in transponder to unlock the box to retrieve the package. Upon locking again the mailbox goes back up to its perch.

 

Components:
Mailbox

  • Climbing Mechanism
  • Locking Mechanism
    • For position on pole & for securing package
  • Transponder Signal Receiver
  • Lid Opening Mechanism
  • Keyhole

Keys

  • Transponder Signal Sender

Pole

Considerations: + I think it would be really cool to see in action. + It keeps out of the way of people unless there is a delivery. + The drone can make a clean placement. - Delivery man cannot make use of the system. - May be dangerous in regards to the dropping mechanism breaking.

? Wonder if this can be placed in one's backyard, or that it can be modified to climb on already existing things? ?


Mini-SWOT analysis:

Strengths
Weakness
Opportunities Threats

Concept 2 - Best of Both Worlds

Sketch of Mailbox
Picture vertically
Concept Description: This mailbox can receive normal package delivery as well as drone delivery and also normal post. It is a curbside mailbox which has has a mail slot & package box combined.

How it works: When a drone is making a delivery is sends a transponder signal or lands on the 4 contact points located on the top of the mailbox. Upon receiving the signal the mailbox opens and stays open until the signal transmission stops. The drone then drops the package into the mailbox. After the drone completes delivery and leaves, the signal stops and the lid closes and secures. A person with the key can then open the package box door to retrieve the package. Also, this mailbox through use of the universal keys carried then by USPS couriers can also open the mailbox to deliver packages and post in the mail slot.

 

Components:
Mailbox

  • Locking Mechanism
  • Lid Opening Mechanism
  • Transponder Signal Receiver
  • Key Slot(s)

Considerations: + Double whammy be accommodating post courier and drone as well as post & package delivery. - At height where people and drones may come in interaction.


Mini-SWOT analysis:

Strengths
Weakness
Opportunities Threats

Concept 3 - Package Tote

Sketch of Mailbox
Concept Description: This concept is targeted at immediate Prime Air Users which will be expecting the 30 min. deliveries and will be there when packages arrive. The idea is for a portable tote concept which can be placed outside when delivery is expected.

How it Works: When person has made delivery selection & waits on the 30 minute delivery, they set their tote OPEN outside in an open area for the drone delivery to be made. When the drone approaches it searches for the signal of the tote and hovers over and drops the package in the tote, which in turn closes to secure package delivery. Person can get tote immediately, or if package is forgotten it is at least safe in the tote. Opening the tote requires key.

 

Components:
Tote

  • Closing & locking mechanism
  • Transponder signal
  • Key slot

Considerations: + Could be used for initial Prime Air customers + Simple system that requires a little human effort - Could be easily stolen since it is a carriable box - Could endanger those around it just as drones normally landing in the front or backyard

? Nice idea, but the packages delivered are already in a plastic carrier why would it need an extra one?

Concept 4 - The Window Basket

Sketch of Mailbox
Concept Description:This looks much like the hanging flower baskets that are in front of some windows. This mailbox is suspended off the side of the house for easy access for both drone & person.

How it Works: The mailbox is mounted under a window on the second (or third) floor of a house. When a drone delivery is underway and nearby, the drone will send a transponder signal which gets the mailbox to extend outward from the house via rails. This allows for space between building & drone to make a safe delivery. The lid of the mailbox will also open automatically. The drone hovers over the mailbox and drops the package inside. Then when leaving, the cut-off of the transponder signal will make the lid close and the mailbox retract and lock. A person can unlock the box with a key and retrieve the package.

 

Components:
Mailbox

  • Opening Mechanism
  • Transponder Signal Receiver
  • Key Hole

Rail Systems

  • Look like drawer rails?
  • Wall mounts

Considerations: + Unique way to make it accessible by both person and drone + Avoids drone/human interactions through extendable platform - Might fall from hinges and damage house

? Will that actually be strong enough to hold package and system?

Concept 5 - The Package Chute

Sketch of Mailbox
Concept Description: Much like a laundry shoot, but angled and located somewhere between the roof of a house and drywall, this concept utilizes gravity to get the package to a secure box.

How it works: With a hole created in the roof of a house, with sensor rigged opening mechanism, a drone signals for the slot to open. Upon opening, the drone hovers over (or lands on) the roof at the package drop location and drops the package in. The drone leaves, retracting its transponder signal and the package slot closes. In the meantime, since the chute is angled, the package slides down and ends up a package cubby located in a room. This cubby can be unlocked with a key to retrieve the package.

 

Components:
Mail Chute

  • Opening Mechanism
  • Transponder signal receiver
  • Key slot
  • Damping for slow decent?

Considerations: + Build in system which would be hidden for outsiders thus more security + Not many mechanisms required due to use of gravity- - Kind of big and bulky -

? How to install or would it be placed when the house is being built


Concept 6 - Collapsible Drone "Chimney"

Sketch of Mailbox
Concept Description: Just like the collapsible tunnels made for kids tents, this chimney uses a similar design. The idea behind this is a quick delivery chute for 30 minute deliveries where a person know he/she will be home.

How it works: Upon making a 30-minute delivery request, the customer walks outside to on of their gutter installation (or some other tall object: ie. flagpole) connects the chute and lets it expand. The drone upon arrival hovers above the chute and drops the package. The folds will be so designed to gradually deliver the package to the ground where the customer can then immediately pick it up.

 

Components:
Collapsible Chimney

  • Ribbed Delivery Concept

Considerations: + Easily removable and set up + For instant use - Not necessarily withstanding of packages & weather conditions - No package holding spot

? Is there a material that can actually perform this feat?

Concept 7 - Clothing Line

Sketch of Mailbox
Picture vertically
Concept Description: Literally as named: a clothing line from which drone totes can hang upon delivery.

How it works: When a drone comes to deliver, the drone tote already has some type of clipping mechanism on the side. The drone slides the tote onto the wire and releases the tote to hang there. When a person wants the delivery, he/she lowers the rods holding up the "clothing line" system via push in rods (similar to that of an umbrella). The person can then unclip the tote and put the line back into place.

 

Components
Clothes Line

  • Wire/String
  • Retractable poles (much like an umbrella)

Tote

  • Need karabiner type clipping

Considerations: + Simplistic solution - strength and durability may be in question

? can/should the totes be altered to have clips?

Concept 8 - Drone "Chimney"

Sketch of Mailbox
Picture vertically
Concept Description: This chimney is built as a chute either inside or beside the house and lowers packages into a cubby for personal access.

How it works: When a drone comes to deliver, it sends a transponder signal to open chimney at the top. Then the drone hovers above and drops the package onto a platform within the chimney shaft. The drone then leaves and the lid shuts. Meanwhile, the platform slowly moves down the chimney. Upon reading the bottom it starts to angle so that the tote slides into a separate cubby. After package is displaced the platform moves back up to reset. To retrieve package, person must use a key to open the cubby hole either located inside or outside one's house.

 

Components
Chute

  • Opening Mechanism
  • Elevator Mechanism
  • Package Cubby
  • Keyhole

Considerations: + Keeps package safe and delivered immediately - Bulky system for 1 house

? How much material might be needed to do this? ? Can it be made smaller?

Requirements Assessment

Key:
Rating Points Meaning
4 excellent   Requirement exceeded
3 sufficient   Requirement met
2 okay   Improvements needed to fully meet requirement
1 insufficient   Requirement not really addressed / Major improvements
0 fail   Requirement is not met



Requirements List * Slightly modified from Requirements to suit assessment needs C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 Comments about functions/concepts
    Funct1 - Accept/Receive Package from drone &/or delivery man 3 4 3 4 3 2 3 4
    Funct2 - Have holding space for package(s) 3 4 3 3 4 1 2 4
    Funct3 - Display address or apartment (somehow) 1-0 2 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0
    Funct4 - Be robust - withstand damage, break ins etc. 3 3 1 3 4 1 1 4
    Funct5 - Report status (full, empty, malfunction) 2 1-0 1-0 2 2 1-0 1-0 2 Did not really think about this aspect but light or sound signal could be added
    Product1 - The user must be able to use the system immediately without any problem by following indicated steps. 3 4 4 3 3 4 4 4
    Product2 - The user should feel their package is safe in the system. 3 4 2 3 3 2 1 4
    Product3 - The system should at all times only open the locker with the package for which the right code has been presented. 4 4 4 4 4 0 0 3 This should actually be tested...but has to be projected for the current time being
    Product4 - The system should open the right locker within ten seconds after verifying the code. 4 4 4 4 4 0 0 3 Same comment as above
    Product5 - The user should feel safe when using the system. 3 2 3 3 4 2 2 3
    Product6 - The system must be able to receive and handle a package within a minute. 2 4 3 3 4 3 2 3
    Product7 - The system must be easy to install 3 3 3 2 1 4 3 1
Total           33 38 30 34 36 19 18 35



Concepts 2, 5 and 8 seem most appropriate to continue further work on if chosen to continue personal mailbox development.





Links within all Brainstorm Concepts
Brainstorm Main Package Receiving Concepts Package Delivery Concepts Personal Mailbox Concepts
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