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).

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.

Nissan’s Autonomous Car Is Road Legal in Japan

Nissan can now test it’s mostly autonomous prototypes on roads in Japan.  The system is not yet fully autonomous, but can handle much of the routine driving.  The system as currently described sounds very similar to Tesla’s autopilot goal mentioned in an earlier post on this website.

UK detention of Reprieve activist consistent with NSA’s view of drone opponents as ‘threats’ and ‘adversaries’

That this story appeared in the Guardian (UK) and alJazeera (Qatar) but not U.S. news organizations underscores the uniqueness of the U.S. majority support for drone strikes in a world that generally disapproves of them.

Tesla To Build A Self-Driving Car Within 3 Years, CEO Musk Says

Following similar announcements by Mercedes and Nissan, Tesla Motors has announced it, too, plans to build driverless cars.  Or at least MOSTLY driverless.  Tesla’s plan is being described as an autopilot – presumably primarily useful for cruising along highways.  This is both more easily achievable and probably more socially acceptable than an instantaneous jump to […]

Who’s afraid of driverless cars?

Among other comments, this article describes how people might take advantage of a driverless car’s superior collision avoidance.

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.

Air Force wants technology that will let drones sense and avoid other aircraft

Collision avoidance might seem an obvious area of interest for UAVs, but the Air Force has often seemed to be dragging its feet when it comes to increasing the deployment of drones.

German chancellor’s drone “attack” shows the threat of weaponized UAVs

A small UAV was dropped at the chancellor’s feet, an effective statement by a member of the opposition party.  The potential for a more bloodthirsty application (assassinations and has raised many concerns, possibly to the detriment of the potential benefit of unmanned vehicles.  The article suggests directed energy weapons as an active defense against such […]

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 […]

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.