Some folks rely on interoffice mail. Some hand-deliver documents.
Not HP Labs Researcher Josh Tyler. He uses a blimp.
"If you, like me, are tired of having to manually deliver
documents or other items within your office building,"
says Tyler, "then you will inevitably reach the same
conclusion I have: An automatic helium blimp delivery service."
Tyler, who spends most of his day investigating such topics
as e-mail networks and communities of practice in email (see
Nature news item), built the radio-controlled device in
his spare time at nights and on weekends.
He figured the HP Labs environment, with its high ceilings,
good lighting and typical Silicon Valley cubicle setup, would
be ideal for blimp navigation. Although he ran into some problems
with the weight of the paper (a typical sheet of paper was
too heavy) and air currents, he got the blimp working, using
it to deliver post-it notes to his manager and friend, Bernardo
To learn more about Josh's blimp or to see a video demonstration,
- Jamie Beckett