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Posts Tagged "drones"

Anecdotes from the Archive

Aerial Spy, 100 Years before Drones

pigeon with a camera

Reported in Scientific American This Week in World War I: October 10, 1914 Drones are at the forefront of warfare in the 21st century. These unarmed and unpiloted aircraft, big and small, circle far above the battlefield, collecting images and reporting back to headquarters, electronically. In 1914, early on in the new Great War, one [...]

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Brainwaves

The Year Drones Ruined Christmas

drones

Kylie ran towards her fallen dragonfly and knelt beside it. One of its four wings had snapped nearly in half. She rummaged through a toolbox until she found a small tube of accelerseal, bit off the cap and squeezed a generous amount onto the wing’s fracture, holding the two pieces together. Above her Mark’s velociropter [...]

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Cross-Check

Drone Assassinations Hurt the U.S. More Than They Help Us

Predator drone firing missile

A lot of my liberal friends are bitterly disappointed with President Barack Obama’s performance in the past three years. They complain that via action and inaction, he is perpetuating many of the policies of his predecessor. In one key area related to military policy, equating Obama to President George W. Bush is unfair—to Bush. Obama [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Crowd-Funded Drones Could Help Protect Kenyan Rhinos

drone

What if there were only a couple dozen police officers to patrol all of Manhattan? Now imagine that the borough protected something far more valuable than gold, something that heavily armed criminals were willing to kill to get. How could those few officers keep the peace over such a large territory? That’s roughly the equivalent [...]

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Guest Blog

What Is a Drone, Anyway?

Launching a Puma drone

At a time when drone aircraft have become a daily feature of the news and are about to proliferate in U.S. airspace, it’s a good idea to take a step back and examine a very basic and very important question: What, exactly, is a drone? The answer turns out to be more complex than might [...]

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Guest Blog

High-Altitude Surveillance Drones: Coming to a Sky Near You

Last week President Obama signed a sweeping aviation bill that, among other things, will open the skies to “unmanned aircraft systems,” more commonly known as drones. Much of the discussion regarding the coming era of domestic drones has been focused on the many important questions regarding their use at low altitudes. To what extent will [...]

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Observations

Civilian Drones to Change How We Respond to Emergencies

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You may think you know what a “drone” is. But the word  “clearly means a lot of things to a lot of different people,” according to Dean Jansen, co-director of the Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC), which took place in October. Jansen’s remark came while introducing one of the speakers at the multidisciplinary conference [...]

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Observations

Could Drones Make the Decision to Kill on Their Own? [Video]

It sounds like something out of the Terminator movies: automated drones that can identify, track and eliminate individual targets without explicit human approval. Today’s U.S. drones require a person to make the decision to fire. But, according to novelist Daniel Suarez, autonomous robotic weapons are virtually an inevitability. In this TED talk from the TEDGlobal [...]

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Observations

Infographic Tool Offers a Detailed Look at 3,000 Deaths by U.S. Drone Attacks

drone strike data visualization, pakistan, pitch interactive, 'out of sight, out of mind'

Now that Pakistan’s former military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf has returned home in time for the country’s May elections, many human rights advocates are concerned that the longstanding surge in U.S. drone strikes within that nation’s borders will grow even larger. Musharraf is widely believed, despite protestations to the contrary, to have given the U.S. [...]

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Observations

Come Hang Out with Some World Changing Ideas

Oil that cleans water. Pacemakers powered by our own blood. Drones that can spy on you in your backyard. Scientific American has chosen these and seven other innovations as the leading developments in 2012 that could ultimately change our world. The radical ideas are not pie-in-the-sky notions but practical breakthroughs that have been proved or [...]

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Talking back

Researchers Hack Drones. A Science Project Anyone?

My son Benjamin once got honorable mention for his science project, which consisted of going to a firing range and seeing whether silk is really bulletproof, as it’s sometimes purported to be. The guy at the range smiled upon hearing about what the skinny teenager was up to and said the silk would never stand [...]

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