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).

Military Lags in Push for Robotic Ground Vehicles

The article predicts that the army will wait until civilian unmanned vehicles have been proven before deploying any themselves, and further that this is a “radical turnaround” of the normal process.  However, we at the Asch Center consider this civilian-applications-first development cycle to be standard for logistics technology, as seen with the automobile and airplane.

Preflight Turbulence for Commercial Drones

The article examines the “moral hazard” of drone surveillance: airplane surveillance is expensive, drones significantly decrease that cost-effectiveness barrier.

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.

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.

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.

Drone attacks frighten geese away from Petrie Island

While one might argue that a dog would be simpler and just as effective, it’s possible the very oddity of a quadrotor UAV disturbs the geese.  However, we once again see the impossibility of predicting all possible applications for unmanned vehicles.

Florida Keys turns to drones in battle against mosquitos

Florida, like many potential buyers of UAVs, is interested in the ability to monitor large areas regularly and cheaply – important as the Florida keys cover a large area and the mosquito life-cycle is not long.  The article notes some fears as to the possibility that UAVs will displace human jobs.

Drones ready to hunt illegal driftnets

UAVs are a cheap way for this Mediterranean conservation groups to extend their reach – beyond the not-very-capable personal observation they usually make do with.  Domestically, the Aerovironment Puma recently certified by the FAA is expected to be used to track pods of whales, for the purposes of conservation and research..