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).

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, […]

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 […]

‘Terminator’ Robots Kill Jellyfish, ‘Sliced Up’ To Eliminate Swarms

In what sounds like the start of a science fiction plot, a Korean university group is developing a swarm of robots designed to kill swarms of jellyfish.  However, the technology, particularly the planned “cooperative strategies” part, has a lot of potential uses, such as fishing, trash/debris removal, and mitigating oil spills to name a few.

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.

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.

NASA’S Mars Curiosity Debuts Autonomous Navigation

Fully autonomous control for the Mars rover has always been desirable – current distance to Mars is 19 light minutes, one way.  However, with $2.5 billion on the line, the slow but safe remote control mode has generally been preferable.

Peru’s archaeologists turn to drones to help protect and explore ancient ruins

These UAVs are not just surveying sites, they’re surveying them in 3D.  This article mentions the flight-time problem – UAVs like the one pictured usually have a battery life of around 15 minutes.  For all the potential, this is a segment of the industry that desperately needs better power supplies.

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.

State of drones in Pa.’s air fleet: Electronic eye in the sky

This article includes the apparently obligatory reference to military drones (in this case, a $15 million national guard program), but underscores the geological possibilities of UAVs.  In this case, the proposed use is taking pictures of sinkholes and comparing the new photographs to earlier data to look for dangerous changes.

Mars Curiosity Milestone: Top 5 First-Year Discoveries

Earth’s most famous and popular unmanned vehicle – the Mars rover Curiosity – has completed one full year of geological and atmospheric surveying.  The article summarizes the major headlines of the last year and what the rover will be looking at next.