Sramana Majumdar

"Violence, Identity and Self-determination: Narratives of conflict from the Kashmir Valley" 4:15 PM, Monday 18 Nov Room 239, BYC Bryn Mawr College

Exposure Index

Tired of paper and pencil questionnaires about integration and intergroup contact? Try the new and improved EXPOSURE INDEX (click tab above on this page).

Nissan Autonomous Tech Influenced By Animal Movement

Many animals demonstrate effective group movement – schools of fish, swarms of insects, and herds.  Nissan recently promised commercially available driverless cars by 2020, and part of reaching that goal appears to be cars that work with and around each to efficiently move as a group.

NASA’S Mars Curiosity Debuts Autonomous Navigation

Fully autonomous control for the Mars rover has always been desirable – current distance to Mars is 19 light minutes, one way.  However, with $2.5 billion on the line, the slow but safe remote control mode has generally been preferable.

World’s Smallest Drone Autopilot System Goes Open Source

A sign of increased accessibility of unmanned vehicles technology.  The small chip includes everything a hobbyist or researcher or robotics team needs to guide a small UAV along a preprogrammed path.

2 Drone-Journalism Programs Seek Federal Approval to Resume Flying

There’s always been some conflict between reporters trying to get access to disaster areas and the first responders.  Now, it appears, they will have to compete on airspace, too.

Nissan Promises to Deliver Autonomous Car by 2020

An ambitious goal, but coming from a large automotive company with the ability to put a lot of money and expertise into the problem.  As with electric cars, however, autonomous cars could remain a niche item for some time.

Peru’s archaeologists turn to drones to help protect and explore ancient ruins

These UAVs are not just surveying sites, they’re surveying them in 3D.  This article mentions the flight-time problem – UAVs like the one pictured usually have a battery life of around 15 minutes.  For all the potential, this is a segment of the industry that desperately needs better power supplies.

Self-driving carmakers will have to pry steering wheel from some cold, dead hands

Even if the technical challenges were to be solved overnight, it appears the cultural problems would delay widespread driverless car usage for a very long time.

This Hybrid Quadcopter Drone Can Take Off and Land Vertically

Vertical Takeoff and Landing systems have long been a goal of military aircraft manufacturers.  Some (the Harrier jet) usually require at least some runway, others (the Osprey) have been plagued by safety problems.  UAVs are cheaper, don’t risk pilots, and are smaller, all of which make the desired flexibility more practical to achieve.

Launch This New 9-Hour Solar-Powered Drone from Your Shoulder

This device is not only dependent on the usual unmanned technology, but on thin, extra-light solar panels.  Once again, the usefulness of unmanned vehicles is in their synthesis of disparate fields.  While a price is not given, the special solar panels are probably pricey – but well worth it as most UAVs of this size […]

By 2035, Nearly 100 Million Self-Driving Cars Will Be Sold Per Year, Report Says

The report appears to be on the optimistic side, assuming strong & sustained growth in the automobile market in general.  However, even with more pessimistic assumptions this could be significant business, as well as saving lives if the ethical and legal conundrums can be addressed.