Remote Drone Worker
10th Sep, 2019

One of the aims of ECORR, and VotNF, is encouraging family and community cohesion. Not only by gating the community and keeping school and amenities local within guarded safe-space, but also in adopting future technologies that decrease the break up of the community. One of the major factors breaking up communities is moving because of a new job. Ideally, we'd move the job to the person, rather than the person to the job.

Thanks to IT, many office workers use shared working spaces (like WeWork) or working from home. Flex-time allows more time for family life, creating a better work-life balance, and reduces travel time to zero. Those using IT to facilitate their jobs have a more stable community, because they do not have to move to the job, the jobs come to them, and jobs from all over the world can come to them. These shared working spaces are found in the interior of the ECORR structures. Safe and secure.

Currently the same is not true for manual labour jobs, especially outdoor and distant jobs, such as working on electrical grids or oil rigs. We do not that the technology to remove into such jobs, but in the future, we may.

Remote Labour Revolution

In Sciror, one of the near future technologies is Remote Drone Workers (RDW). This technology is integrated into the shared working spaces used by office workers, and is an extension of IT. Now there are two types of workstation 'data' and 'action'. Those using Action Workstations are called 'pilots'.

The Action Workstation is made up of a support rig, with an adjustable bodysuit, and full VR headset. Much of the technology was developed for immersive VR games. Indeed, even the office workers can use them for games once they knock off! So a 'drone' can be virtual (game mode), of physical (work mode). In work mode: once the pilot is connected to a drone, and synced, the remote drone replicates the pilot's movements. The work drone can be local or hundreds of miles away. The only issue is signal and lag. Businesses have their onsite drones, and anyone who is authorised can remote into them.

Work Droning dramatically increases the productivity of skilled manual workers. Now a remote engineer is effectively 'onsite', and can physically interact with the remote location. Yet they can jump from one job to another, without having to travel in between jobs. The removing of travel saves a ton of time. It's like teleporting!

A drone is the same size as an average human. Automated factories and outdoor work still have the redundancy of a real human turning up and sorting things out. So the drones are very human-like, use human hand (power) tools, and even have 'faces' to display an avatar of the pilot's expressions when talking, and screens on their chest to display brand logos and ID credentials.

Children can go to work with their parents. A father could take their son to the local space working space, both jump into Action Workstations, and log into remotes drones. The son can follow his father at work, even on busy worksites, but with no danger to themselves. This allows the son to act as an apprentice in complete safety, and quickly dismissed if needs be by having him log off.

Future developments

Lag is a difficult limitation to overcome. It is lag that prompts the development of autonomous support systems, to help with balance and movement. This is a drone that becomes 'fly by wire' with limited auto-pilot AI. This 'long-range drone' lays the foundation for Artiloid technology.

As Sciror is sci-fi/ horror, I'm sure you can imagine all kinds of things that can go wrong with this setup - think of the possibilities! *drools*

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10 Responses

Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concept you'll find here. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years, and I would especially like to thank all those who commented on this specific topic. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!

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  1. malika says:

    More food for thought regarding car free cities, you might wanna check out 'The Great City', designed by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill. This was supposed to be a fully car free city in China and seemed to work just fine.

    Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates was supposed to follow a similar philosophy. I feel for those reasons alone it might also be interesting to check out these existing case studies and see how we can integrate them into VotNF.

    • Philip says:

      Very nice. Think of those cities as the first floor or ECORR 😉 The first floor is all pedestrians, aside from the light electric road (stacked over the main road, double-decker roads!) And the ECORR has commercial in the centre of the hive, and between the ECORR hives are communal parks (no light electric vehicles). Everything is light, beautiful, and full-on 'SolarPunk*' except Greek instead of Art Nuevo.

      *my Ecoria are listed under fan works as a 'dark subversion' of the trope 😛

      The Ground floor of the ECORR with all the roads, rail, parking, even canals (!) is all about moving product and people quickly and efficiently. The ground floor is also for industrial parks, which are, in effect, 'subterranean'.
      The reason for this set-up is population density and feeding these vast hive complexes.

  2. Malika says:

    No need to get rid of the old roads, the only difference is that you'll be seeing a lot less cars on them. Maybe only emergency services, delivery rides, etc. In the new urban areas covered by the ECORR, we might see roads done a bit different since the usage of vehicles would be a lot less.

    • Philip S says:

      That is a fair assessment. Within the ECORR the first floor has light-roads with people zooming about on personal electric vehicles and bicycles. The light road links all the internal commercial space. This would be a new 'high street', but with no cars! It ties into some forms of gentrification; where inner-city spaces are remodelled as car-less areas, which are pedestrian-only. The light road also links out to the external parks, and the external parks are surrounded with cafes, fairs, and open Sunday markets etc.

      The road underneath, the original (heavy) road, would be for automated mega-articulated trucks, and automated cars, and there would not be a pedestrian in sight. These roads are important as they are used to deliver goods to the inner commercial zones, but also through-ways to other ECORR developments. ECORR could result in very dense living, and that means a lot of delivery traffic.

      I designed stage 1 ECORR as a solution to the housing crisis facing England. As such, I imagine ECORR would integrate into our current infrastructure, an addition to, rather than replacing it. The first ECORR would be built over the motorways, and contributory roads, leading into London. I'd cover the whole of the M25 🙂

      Later, ECORR may be used to replace buildings in redevelopments. Unfortunately, this requires a plot of land on both sides of the road, and that might be a little tricky for most small developers to find in London! I suspect it would be more viable for private roads, where a larger developer controls the whole site. This often happens with the redevelopment of old industrial sites, especially all the warehouses and docks along the Thames.

      I live on a redeveloped Quay, with private roads and resident parking underground. Building underground parking right next to the Thames is a tad expensive. It requires a massive restraining wall to keep out the millions of tons of water! It would have made more sense to build the parking above ground, and move the current groud floor up a level. That way, we can get rid of all the roads, and replace them with pretty gardens and paths to link up the block entrances and stores.

      Looking around London, many houses already have some design elements of ECORR. Such as a terraced house with a garage on the first floor. That design means there is a forecourt of block, gravel or concrete, that is wasted space. It would make more sense to replace the forecourt with a garage and then put a garden on its roof. The first floor, which is now like a 'ground floor', has a private front garden away from the road. When a whole street is redeveloped, this might be an idea. If both sides of the street did it, perhaps the council could cover the road with a garden and link up the two sides?

      Eventually, the whole of London could be moved up a level, which might make sense with rising sea levels 😛

      • Malika says:

        I would get rid of cars altogether within the city. The only car like and bigger vehicles that are allowed would be emergency services (police, fire department, ambulances, etc.), transport (supplying homes, shops, /etc.) and maintenance/construction. Personal transport would be mainly public transport, bikes, scooters, etc. A lot of parking spaces within the city could then be reclaimed, either as housing or turned into public space (gardens, terraces, etc). It's not automatically gentrification in which we drive away the local population to make room for a wealthier one. This is more of a policy to make the city accessible and safer for everbody.

        The underneath system would then run parallel with the existing Tube system, right? It would then also include heavy lifts/elevators to bring up those goods. As for minor deliveries (small packages), I guess drones akin to what Amazon are doing wouldn't be that far fetched.

        As for the parking of the cars, if you have a good running public transport system within the city (also from the edges of the city towards the inner city and back), you might want to go for giant parking complexes on the outskirts of London. These would be almost totally 'silent cities' of their own, storing thousands and thousands of vehicles. Maybe even fully automated (like that almost vending machine like car parking space I once shared with you). So these would be structures that the public can't enter. You just place your car inside it, and the machine puts it in its lot. You want your car? The machine will then take it out for you.

        • Philip S says:

          That's about the size of it! 😉 To clarify on the ECORR design: the first floor is all road, parking, and public transport: buses for long routes (can take a bike), autonomous taxies, and surface links to the tube, where the tube is under the first floor. The first floor will be very busy, and even with a reduction in traffic and better management, as we start to approach hive levels of population density: things are going to get busy! The first floor also contains certain industrial elements: automated factories, warehouses full of LED grown rooms (precursor to rack-farms*), data centres (waste heat redirected and used to warm the buildings above in winter).

          *I should make a separate page about rack-farms!

          All roads, parking lots, industrial zones, are completely covered by the second floor.

          The second floor is where our human living space really starts. It's where you will find all the hab-units, parks, cycleways, shops, cafes, and everything nice. But no cars on the second floor or above.
          By splitting this we get the best of both worlds, easy travel and efficient delivery, but minimum travel for work (share office space, remote drone tech), but an upper living space with no cars.

  3. Malika says:

    Hmm, why am I getting flashbacks to Rick & Morty's episode about the carpetstore VR game?

    The Polish/Japanese movie Avalon also comes to mind here.

    As for working from home, if people would never have to leave their homes again, you might want to redesign your cities as well. Why have a car in a garage then? Most traffic of commuting from home to work. Weekend trips or tourism wouldn't be an every day thing, so that might be done totally different.

    As for the communities themselves, you might wanna look at the 'old' Dutch system of pillarisation, I would imagine that you'd have lot less diverse communities if you manage to stop migration in any form. More on pillarisation here.

    • Philip S says:

      I've not seen Avalon, but after reading about it, I'll check it out 🙂

      As for travel: London is very busy all the time, and most avoid travelling by car. Even with the excellent transport systems, Londoners still make use of the (narrow) roads. The roads are still a cheap and efficient way to deliver goods, and service personnel (be that a droid in the future, or human). While saving time at work is one thing, people would still want to hook up, and much of building trust in business is down to meeting others in person. Public transport could be better, automated cars could convoy, but even if the roads were replaced with rail, the ECORR could be built over that 😉

      Pillarisation is interesting, I have not heard of this term before, and seems to be what the 40K Imperium has. In our modern world, it may be more integrated, but the underlying concepts are still here. People still self-segregate based around interests and likes, which have their own structures and rules, hence the polarisation around politics, race, class, fandoms and various other interest groups. Unlike pillarisation, the boundaries are blurred and more fluid these days.

      An example would be 'the city' (as in 'the City of London', inside greater London, but also means the financial areas of London (Canary Warf) has the 'Financial Times', made distinctive by its pink pages (which, looking at the Wikipedia article) would be the paper of a financial pillar. However, anyone can buy it, and anyone can train and move into the financial sector. So it is not as restrictive as an actual pillar in pillarisation, but it still has its own culture. The same for the churches. I can see why a liberal society would shy away from this, as they would want more freedom, and more mobility between the pillars to promote meritocracy.

      I think the concept could work during the fall, where the 'pillars' are cooperating factions, or nation-states, working together after the fall (Psidemic). Much like the Imperium in 40K.

      • Malika says:

        Regarding your London example, it does feel that car traffic will become more and more of an issue, especially when population density increases. It might be handier to have no cars inside the city (with a few exceptions here and there), with most individual cars parked on the city's edges.

        Regarding pillarisation, note that it wasn't officially forbidden to 'mix', it was just very much frowned upon. It does have some similarities with class based discrimination as we (have) see(n) in many Western nations. But it's not as extreme as lets say the caste system in India.

        Post-Psidemic I would see these pillars more akin to guilds, or perhaps microstates that are very specialised, depending on what tech they can get their hands on. Can't help of those 'industry' based states in Mad Max Fury Road (one which economy was purely based on the production of ammo, the other on the production of fuel, etc). So isolated states, but still very (understatement) dependent on one another.

        • Philip S says:

          Getting rid of all roads may be tricky, unless we go all drone!
          In London, roads are still handy for delivering goods to the door. With the rise in online shopping, and food delivery, there are a lot more service vehicles. Some of these could change over to the upper road that is for low power, personal, electric vehicles and bicycles. However, the core of the ECORR is commercial and industrial. The industrial side includes;

          • LED warehouse grow racks (the basis of future food production in hives)
          • Data centres (using the produces heat to warm the hab-units like in some Scandinavian countries).
          • Workshops and artist studios

          Where 40K is quite faux German with a lot of Roman and other cultures, and Warhammer Fantasy very faux German, I thought I might go more British. We could fold pillarisation into the City of London Livery Companies. Redesign their logos, and imagine future ones, and use the wealth of the City of London history (the city within the city, London x2, we have two mayors!). This would mean the Sciror version of the Ad-Mec, the Akolouthos Mekhane, is a livery company. Even the military could be a livery company, running a protection racket on the over livery companies, and enforcing common rules of the road. Creating a safe space for liberty to flourish! ??? WTF 😀

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