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

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Drone Issue Hovers More Than Ever, Even as Strikes Ebb

In further fallout from the previously noted Amnesty International/Human Rights Watch report, the Pakistani government’s ability to deny cooperation with the US drone strikes program is a looking particularly doubtful, perhaps contributed to the increase in Prime Minister Sharif’s attempts to end the strikes.

US drone strikes could be classed as war crimes, says Amnesty International

Variations of this story have been produced by many major news organizations around the world, including the New York Times (“Civilian Deaths in Drone Strikes Cited in Report“, “The Deaths of Innocents“), al Jazeera (“US strikes condemned in rights report“) in addition to the Guardian story directly linked by this post.  This appears to be […]

SenseFly and Drone Adventures Toss UAVs Off the Summit of Matterhorn

Not only did these drones get good aerial photographs of very rough terrain, they used teamwork to do so.  In labs, roboticists are developing the methods for dozens or robots to work together, but for now six UAVs coordinating flight patterns and dividing a job between them are an impressive sample of things to come.

Rise of the drone hobbyists

The drone industry owes much to the hobbyists and universities who developed much of the technology.  Going forward, the industry will owe even more to the hobbyists for creating acceptance and familiarity amongst the wider public.  The article mentions the recent story of a man who died in an accident involving his drone helicopter.  The […]

Q&A: Privacy implications for aerial drones

The greatest public concern over domestic drone use is that of privacy.  At last weekend’s Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference held at New York University, a legal scholar considered what drones meant for privacy, and suggested that perhaps recent technological advances required some changes to how we think about what privacy is.  It is far […]

Machine gun-toting robots may soon back up U.S. soldiers

Various kinds of unmanned vehicles have long been used in war – from self-guiding missiles and torpedoes to the more recent bomb-disposal robots.  This article points toward a future where unmanned vehicles will not just track targets selected by humans or keep humans out of dangerous situations, but actively and autonomously assist human soldiers.

At Drone Conference, Talk of Morals and Toys

At New York University this weekend, there was a drone conference focused on commercial and private use.  Needless to say, privacy and other moral hazards were a major topic.  Or, as the articles author described it, “the checkered reputation remained the day’s subtext.”  Many of the visitors and speakers quoted in the article explicitly connected […]

European Defense Firms’ Drone Push Remains Elusive

Despite interest, the United States and Israel remain the dominant manufacturers of drones.  Some of Europe’s problems seem to originate from bad management – see the part about their being more requested variants of a drone than countries offering to buy it.  Others come down to bad PR management – namely Germany’s EuroDrone project, killed […]

Drone Pilot Fights for Right to Profit in the Unmanned Skies

The subject of drone regulation is very much up in the air.  As the word “drone” covers anything from a bird-sized toy to something dozens of feet wide, the current blanket rules often seem arbitrary or unfair.  This article describes a man who is arguing in court that the FAA has no authority on unmanned […]

‘Terminator’ Robots Kill Jellyfish, ‘Sliced Up’ To Eliminate Swarms

In what sounds like the start of a science fiction plot, a Korean university group is developing a swarm of robots designed to kill swarms of jellyfish.  However, the technology, particularly the planned “cooperative strategies” part, has a lot of potential uses, such as fishing, trash/debris removal, and mitigating oil spills to name a few.