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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Balfour Beatty considers improving staff safety with drones and gamification

This large construction company is showing interest in using drones, both for monitoring large, chaotic work sites, and also for directly adding to a structure.  It is perhaps not a surprise that this initiative was announced in Japan, a place that has long been willing to integrate robotics into society.

Drone worth millions crashes into Lake Ontario, military says

The circumstances surrounding this accident are currently unknown.  Depending on the details, this could be anything from old-fashioned operator error by the pilot-in-training to a major flaw in the design of the Reaper drone.  Whatever the cause, this will not be the last lost drone, as both demand for (and supply of) the technology is […]

Drones Plumb New Depths

The research project described in this article involves several underwater robots, two borrowed from the Navy, one built by Rutgers University.  Together, they add a new element to oceanographic data collection, supplementing the predominantly surface data with readings from hundreds of feet under water.  Two aspects of this article are worth noting.  First, it appeared […]

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, […]

Driverless cars set to roam Milton Keynes from 2017, says Vince Cable

The town of Milton Keynes is planning a grand experiment on the future of transportation.  The small two-seater autonomous vehicles appear to be an attempt to merge the flexibility of a taxi and availability of a trolley.  As is mentioned in the article, the uncertainty associated with this project (and others like it) is in […]

AgriRover brings Mars rover technology to the farm

This prototype is designed for constant, high-resolution surveying and adjustment of soil properties – a farmer’s Roomba.  This design came from a team in New Zealand, providing another indication of the increasingly international character to the unmanned vehicles industry.

Family of grandmother killed in US drone strike arrive for Congress visit

Many have suggested that Congress primarily hears about the drone strikes from the military and intelligence communities, who generally wish to defend their operations.  This attempt to give voice to the other side of the story comes at a time of rising discontent over the US drone strikes, both abroad and at home.

Pakistani Party Votes to Block NATO Supply Lines if Drones Persist

On 1 Nov. a drone strike killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud.  Pakistani opinion on drone strikes being what it is, this event has touched off a political firestorm in Pakistan, culminating in the resolution discussed in this article.  Many in Pakistan believe that the United States made this high-profile strike to […]

DARPA Plans to Arm Drones With Missile-Blasting Lasers

Lasers have long been the headline-grabbing weapon of the future, so it is perhaps no surprise that they should appear along with drones.  Though already deployed and widely used, drones and other robotic systems still have an aura of science fiction about them.  Time will tell if the weight and size requirements defined by lasers […]

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.