Drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have no human pilot onboard, and instead are either controlled by a person on the ground or autonomously via a computer program. These stealth craft are becoming increasingly popular, not just for war and military purposes, but also for everything from wildlife and atmospheric research to disaster relief and sports photography. Drones are becoming the eyes and ears of scientists by surveying the ground for archaeological sites, signs of illegal hunting and crop damage, and even zipping inside hurricanes to study the wild storms. You can even rent a personal drone to soar above the horizon and snap a photo or video.
“Car owners and drivers become prey for police predators. When a police car is in view, the driver feels fear rather than the comfort of protection. There is fear that, like a spider bearing down on a trapped fly, one will become a victim, not only having to pay the citation tax, but having to waste time in traffic school or having the bear the cost of higher insurance payments.” – Eric Schmitt
“Excessive traffic fines create distrust between the police and the people. What’s needed is tax reform that eliminates the financial incentive for taxation by citation.” – Fred Foldvary
“Several cities have been caught shortening yellow light times to increase ticket camera profits and we think there are more yet to be discovered.
Red-light cameras can only remain profitable at poorly engineered interesections. Once an intersection is fixed, the money dries up quickly. And once the money is gone, the cameras disappear.
We’ve already seen it happen in North Carolina. After the Courts forced cities to give their profits to local schools, the majority of the ticket camera programs in the state shut down.”
A thriller set in the world of remotely piloted aircraft warfare.
Welcome to the new front line!
The PD-100 Black Hornet is a nano UAV developed by Prox Dynamics. The Black Hornet offers intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to armed forces in mission critical operations. The UAV gives access to remote locations and provides situational awareness on the battle field.The Black Hornet has been deployed in Afghanistan to meet the surveillance requirements of the UK Armed Forces. The UAV is also in service with the security forces of several other countries.
American engineering firm Boston Dynamics, which develops technology for the US military has developed a series of robots that amaze.
Via: CBS News
Drones Over America Morley Safer is the correspondent
Will The skies of the future be filled with bussing drones?
Morley Safer: The issue that really comes to mind is the issue of privacy. I mean, these machines are all Peeping Toms.
Missy Cummings: All sensors are Peeping Toms. And so anything that you have that’s electronic is a Peeping Tom. I would say probably your greatest privacy invasion is your cell phone, if not your Facebook account. Yes, there are potentially flying cameras everywhere, except that in many cities there are cameras everywhere. (source)
James Cameron: Before ‘Avatar’ … a curious boy
James Cameron’s big-budget (and even bigger-grossing) films create unreal worlds all their own. In this personal talk, he reveals his childhood fascination with the fantastic — from reading science fiction to deep-sea diving — and how it ultimately drove the success of his blockbuster hits “Aliens,” “The Terminator,” “Titanic” and “Avatar.”
A new video from defense-update shows a convoy of driverless trucks in action.
Future-tech for the military looks to automate a lot of tasks and reduce the need for personnel in areas where technology can replace them.
Defense One: Army Trucks That Drive Themselves
Defense Update: Convoys of Driverless Trucks to Push Supplies to the Combat Zone
In a robot lab at TEDGlobal, Raffaello D’Andrea demos his flying quadcopters: robots that think like athletes, solving physical problems with algorithms that help them learn. In a series of nifty demos, D’Andrea show drones that play catch, balance and make decisions together — and watch out for an I-want-this-now demo of Kinect-controlled quads.
Roboticist Raffaello D’Andrea explores the possibilities of autonomous technology by collaborating with artists, architects and engineers.
Raffaello D’Andrea quote:
“My work is focused on the creation of systems that leverage technological innovations, scientific principles, advanced mathematics, algorithms, and the art of design in unprecedented ways, with an emphasis on advanced motion control.
By their very nature, these creations require a team to realize. Many are enabled by the research I conduct with my graduate students. Many are also the fruit of collaborations with architects, entrepreneurs, and artists.
My hope is that these creations inspire us to rethink what role technology should have in shaping our future.”
Website: Raffaello D’Andrea – Dynamic Works
Last month Boston Dynamics was asked by DARPA to turn their LS3 robot into a silent, bulletproof unit. But that isn’t the only robot Boston is working on right now, as they also have an all terrain running robot called WildCat.
New footage of WildCat has been posted on Boston Dynamics‘ YouTube page, which you can watch below. It looks quite similar to LS3, but is actually a smaller version of the Cheetah robot. Cheetah can run at 28mph while tethered. WildCat can only manage 16mph, but does so untethered.
As you can see, WildCat uses a combination of galloping and bounding to achieve such speeds, and also manages to recover from a stumble easily and quickly. Now imagine this speeding across a hostile area carrying supplies on its back for the troops. It’s like something you’d expect to see in the movies, not real life, but Boston Dynamics is certainly doing everything it can to push robot technology forward.
WildCat is a work in progress and also funded by DARPA through its M3 program, so there’s every chance it will end up getting faster and more stable. It already looks pretty capable, but I’d like to see it galloping across uneven ground to get a sense of how it really performs. And just like with LS3, it needs a better power solution that isn’t as noisy.