interesting idea occured to me very late one night (about 3.30am, as it
happens). At least, I found it interesting. It might even be
Suppose a young kid (girl
or boy) puts together a solar powered flying model - it could be a helicopter
or something more exotic. The idea is that s/he wants to fly it across
country - maybe even across the world - to visit other places and, using
a bunch of onboard webcams, send back pictures of what it sees.
Rather than equip it
with artificial intelligence I figured the kid could wake it up during
its "day", fly it remotely for a distance - see how far it gets, what it
sees - and then land it somewhere safe for its "night" (wherever it happens
to be in terms of time zone) until s/he next has a chance to fly it.
That way s/he could fly around the globe - as long as the equipment holds
The remote connection
could be done through a variety of mechanisms, maybe the Web (think of
the Mars Lunar Rover that was controlled using the Internet) and a hack
into a satellite (so s/he can transmit and receive over great distances).
A provisional name for the project is "Web Trek".
Maybe his/her Dad/Mom
is some kind of scientist who gets time on a satellite link for radio control
of something remote - perhaps a telescope or something - and the kid uses
that for his/her own purposes.
That's the underlying
mechanism for the story.
Overlaid on top of that
could be adventures along the way - events witnessed, people helped, and
so on. It might even qualify as a TV series.
The kid can't draw too
much attention to him/herself, because s/he's hacked a commercial or government
system, so the interaction s/he has with anyone will have to be subtle
A similar idea occurred
to me a long time ago for amateur underwater exploration. Create
a waterproof model something (crab, maybe, or something less exotic like
a sub), send it into the water off a beach somewhere, and see what it sees.
Powering it might be a problem, unless I can come up with a way to do it
with seawater, and radio communication likewise might be a problem.
But there are batteries being developed for space exploration that will
use seawater (for a possible mission to explore the deep oceans on Europa,
one of the moons of Jupiter) so before long there may be a practical technology
available for domestic use.
I'd even like to try
it out for real (either or both) - whenever I get enough money to afford
to do it!