SeaRobotics “Collapsible” USV Aids in Arctic Survey
I have talked about UAVs a lot, but I would be remiss if I did not also note that there are unmanned(personed) surface vehicles. I think that the best known versions of these are the rovers sent to Mars, although those are sort of manned in the sense that there are drivers, but overall a lot of the work that they do is just programmed in the day before. Another well known version, even though it is silly to think about, are the floor cleaner robots like the Roomba. One of the advantages of these devices is that, generally, they can have a whole lot more mass since they do not have to worry about flight. This means more sensors, more fuel, more protection, and more program storage. It also means slightly less legal worry. In the right situation you could cover significant distances with a wider range of sensors. I think that in terms of normal every day terrain these might not be that useful, but in areas like the arctic, salt flats, or sandy areas like beaches you could really record a lot of information.
Where High-accuracy Wireless Location is (and isn’t) Headed in 2014
These articles are always interesting. I try to hold onto these articles so I can see how market and legal forces shape up and compare it to what people were predicting. The advancement of high accuracy wireless location is important to watch. With the number of commercial and private wireless users in the world the next few years are going to be critical. Having on board GPS changed how auto drivers interact with their world. Having smartphones that geotag your location on your favorite social media platforms changed how people interact with their world. As with any location based technology it was always limited to how precise you were. Now that we are advancing network technologies and access to GNSS services we are suddenly in a world where the average person can find out where they are to within inches. This is a terrifying prospect, but I think that the good really outweighs the bad. Yes, there is potential for privacy invasion, but we need to deal with that on a case by case basis. At the end of the day that is an invasion of privacy altogether and the technological vehicle is almost irrelevant. The potential to save lives in the aftermath of disasters far outweighs the potential of privacy invasion. The potential to increase our understanding of the world and the people that we share it with far outweighs the potential for abuse.