A design studio has unveiled a flying drone, the CUPID drone, that shoots taser darts that deliver 80,000 volts of paralyzing electricity.
On the company’s site there are currently no details about when or if the device will ever be offered commercially, but in the video we can see that the CUPID is a hexacopter equipped with a laser sight used to target the remote-controlled taser darts
A Hungarian team has created the first drones that can fly as a coordinated flock. The researchers watched as the ten autonomous robots took to the air in a field outside Budapest, zipping through the open sky, flying in formation or even following a leader, all without any central control.
“This is remarkable work,” says Iain Couzin, who studies collective animal behaviour at Princeton University in New Jersey. “It is the first outdoor demonstration of how biologically inspired rules can be used to create resilient yet dynamic flocks. [It suggests] we will be able to achieve large, coordinated robot flocks much sooner than many would have anticipated.”
Aerial views filmed by a drone-mounted camera shows anti-government protesters in central Kiev on Wednesday morning. Russia has threatened to use its influence in Ukraine to bring the violence to an end, while the US has raised the likelihood on an imposition of sanctions in a possible bid to incentivise joining the EU
A drone journalist is suing a local police department in a case that may provide a stepping stone to broader legislation dealing with who has the right to fly drones and take video from the sky.
Pedro Rivera filed a suit against two officers of the Hartford, Conn., police department on Feb. 18 after they convinced his part-time employer, a local TV station, to suspend him for a week that began on Feb. 3. The suspension followed a department investigation into whether Rivera illegally used his drone to film the scene of a fatal accident.
The United Arab Emirates says it plans to use unmanned aerial drones to deliver official documents and packages to its citizens as part of efforts to upgrade government services.
“The UAE will try to deliver its government services through drones. This is the first project of its kind in the world,” Mohammed al-Gergawi, a minister of cabinet affairs, said on Monday as he displayed a prototype developed for the government.
The UAE drone programme faces similar obstacles, plus temperatures which often exceed 40 degrees Centigrade (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer and heavy sandstorms which occasionally sweep across the desert country. “Within a year from now we will understand the capabilities of the system and what sort of services, and how far we can deliver. Eventually a new product will be launched across all the country,” Gergawi said.
When it comes to the potential for agriculture, Kansas State University precision agriculture specialist Dr. Kevin Price thinks the growth in the next few years “is gonna blow your socks off.”
“About 80% of the money that will be spent on the unmanned aircraft systems will be spent in the area of agriculture. There are ten times more applications in agriculture then there is in any of the other application areas,” said Dr. Price. “They’re predicting it’s going to be close to a 100 billion dollar industry by the year 2025.”
He said agriculture applications for drones in development include data collection on crop health and yields, nitrogen and chemical applications, spot treating of insects and disease, and much more. Data collection of field images by cameras mounted on drones within an inch of accuracy.
In Raymond Tallis’ book, Aping Mankind – about which he was talking this week at the British Academy – he describes the cultural disease that afflicts us when we assume that we are nothing but a bunch of neurons.
Neuromania arises from the doctrine that consciousness is the same as brain activity or, to be slightly more sophisticated, that consciousness is just the way that we experience brain activity.
If you think the brain is a machine then you are committed to saying that composing a sublime poem is as involuntary an activity as having an epileptic fit. You will issue press releases announcing “the discovery of love” or “the seat of creativity”, stapled to images of the brain with blobs helpfully highlighted in red or blue, that journalists reproduce like medieval acolytes parroting the missives of popes. You will start to assume that the humanities are really branches of biology in an immature form.
Tallis doesn’t claim to know. He described himself as an “ontological agnostic”, the nature of consciousness being a tremendous mystery. “We just don’t know how we should think about being and how mind fits into nature. But we’ll never learn if we start out taking all the wrong paths.”
Researchers are wiring plants to harness their intelligence and use them as organic biosensors.
"Italian researchers are building a network of connected "cyborg" plants (plantborgs? cyplants? cyberflora?) to use as organic biosensors. The plants are embedded with a tiny electronic device to monitor things like pollution levels, overuse of chemicals, temperature, parasites, acid rain, and communicate the data through a wireless network back to the lab."
Scientists have long used mathematics to describe the physical properties of the universe. But what if the universe itself is math? That’s what cosmologist Max Tegmark believes.
In Tegmark’s view, everything in the universe — humans included — is part of a mathematical structure. All matter is made up of particles, which have properties such as charge and spin, but these properties are purely mathematical, he says. And space itself has properties such as dimensions, but is still ultimately a mathematical structure.
"Consciousness is probably the way information feels when it’s being processed in certain, very complicated ways," Tegmark said. He pointed out that many great breakthroughs in physics have involved unifying two things once thought to be separate: energy and matter, space and time, electricity and magnetism. He said he suspects the mind, which is the feeling of a conscious self, will ultimately be unified with the body, which is a collection of moving particles.
The idea seemed ingenious: Delivering 12-packs of beer to the cold, windswept surfaces of popular ice fishing lakes — using a drone
Lakemaid Beer president Jack Supple brewed up a plan this winter to quench the beer thirst of ice fishers on central Minnesota’s Lake Mille Lacs, with retailers taking orders using GPS coordinates.
The nation’s stewards of the air are still studying how to safely bring drones into modern life, and until then, their commercial use isn’t permitted, they explained.
Supple said he understands their point. He’d scoffed — at first — when he saw reports of Amazon.com floating the idea of drone deliveries, thinking it was three sheets to the wind.
“That looked like it couldn’t possibly work. I can’t imagine them flying your shoes down the street here, in downtown Minneapolis, with all of the skyscrapers and people and trains and lamp posts,” Supple said.