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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Amazon Is Experimenting With Autonomous Flying Delivery Drones

In Amazon’s constant quest for efficiency, CEO Jeff Bezos is hoping drones can bring the gap between payment and delivery down to thirty minutes.  So far, this plan is nothing more than a good press release, as the FAA has yet to finalize the rules for flying drones.  However, Bezos seems confident that the drones […]

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 […]

Army Scores a Super-Stealthy Drone That Looks Like a Bird

In the U.S. military’s ongoing battle against insurgents and terrorists, radar stealth is less important than invisibility – or, in this case, disguise.  Designed to look like a circling bird from a distance, this small drone model is designed to provide short-range surveillance without alerting the subjects.

Drone crew caught attempting to deliver smokes to prison inmates

As the article suggests, it’s only a matter of time before drones are a standard tool in the arsenal of criminals and terrorists.  Perhaps building off the occasional success of helicopter prison breakouts, some would be smugglers in Georgia attempted to supply a prison with tobacco.

This 6-Foot, 330-Pound Robot May One Day Save Your Life

This humanoid robot is designed to have the same mobility as a human.  While it lacks hands capable of truly grasping objects, this design still shows promise for search and rescue missions, as the title implies.  The robot’s builder, Boston Dynamics, has previously achieved fame for its surprisingly stable, adaptive and rather creepy BigDog robots, […]

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 […]

Drones in Culture: Blondie

The Blondie Comic strip for 24 Nov. 2013 has a hapless employee under constant monitoring by a miniature Predator drone.  While the Predator design is clearly artistic license, this strip taps into a common worry about surveillance, lack of privacy, and the damping of free speech.

Chinese Stealth Drone Makes First Flight

China has been working towards this project since at least 2006, when the ‘Dark Sword’ project became public knowledge.  The ‘Sharp Sword’ drone mentioned in this article appears designed as a mid- to long-range unmanned stealth bomber.  Unlike the U.S. Reapers and Predators, the Sharp Sword is clearly designed for symmetric conflict.

Hackers’ guide to grounding drones

While Deer Creek, Colorado may have wanted to take down drones with shotguns and hunting rifles, there are more subtle methods that would probably be difficult to punish.  GPS jammers and directed energy weapons can interfere with the electronics and navigation of drones, bringing them down with no noise and little trouble.  While presented as […]

The Drones of the Future Won’t Kill, They’ll Take Selfies

Constantly recording personal drones maybe be more privacy invading than innocuous to some.  Nevertheless, they are probably more acceptable to the public than the military and government drones.  The Paparazzi drone in particular is interesting as it abandons the common (and perhaps somewhat menacing) quadrotor for a highly stylized design looks like a cartoon helicopter.