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).

LAPD adds drones to arsenal, says they’ll be used sparingly

This is more than merely another “police obtaining drones” article.  The drones the LAPD received are being given away because the citizens of Seattle refused to let their police force use them.  It remains to be seen whether Los Angelos will also reject their use.  It is also noteworthy that the LAPD, avoided the word […]

Coming Soon, a Night Watchman With Wheels?

This prototype illustrates just how far the field of robotics has come.  With half a dozen kinds of sensors and some level of autonomy, this device still has an expected effective cost of just $6.25/h.  Needless to say, privacy is a concern.  As it is designed to be networked, perhaps security should also be a […]

Which drone future will Americans choose?

This commentary attempts to look at drones in the context of nuclear proliferation.  While drones certainly are more focused than a nuclear bomb, they are also far cheaper to obtain.  While the fears stated may be exaggerated, privacy and proliferation will continue to be major concerns.  The Asch Center also agrees with the author that […]

As deadline for drone rules nears, FAA issues roadmap for inclusion in the skies

The FAA, under pressure from members of the government, the drone industry, and public interest groups, is moving forwards on developing a framework for domestic drone use.  Many important details remain up in the air, however.  Information on the legal standing of the smaller, hobbyist type drones that will not require traffic control is lacking, […]

DOJ calls for drone privacy policy 7 years after FBI’s first drone launched

The greatest public concern over domestic drones is privacy.  As UAVs become more common and more widely used, the debate over their use and regulation will only get more intense.  This year’s revelations about the NSA has presumably not helped various departments’ arguments for self-regulation, though surveys on the subject of drones remain rare and […]

Unmanned Vehicles in Fiction: “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

In the pilot episode of Marvel’s new TV show, the protagonists use a fleet of mini-quadrotors to inspect and map a crime scene.  While the miniaturization and capabilities shown are beyond current technology, the idea of using unmanned vehicles to map crime or disaster scenes is not.

Falcon UAV Supports Colorado Flooding Until Grounded by FEMA

Falcon UAV was getting some good PR by helping map the rapidly changing contours of the flooded areas of Colorado.  However, when FEMA arrived, they grounded the drones.  This story is entirely based on the company-written article linked from this post, but apparently the weather has often made manned flights impossible, and manned flights are […]

Will Robots Replace Rent-a-Cops?

This particular application requires using all of robotics’ worst skills: sensor analysis and human interaction.  While the idea is closer to reality than in Asimov’s day, it’s still a long way away.

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..

Canadian mounties claim first person’s life saved by a police drone

This is a perfect example of a UAV-assisted search and rescue mission, demonstrating the benevolent potential of the technology.