So you want to be a drone pilot ? This is where you start. Read more…
So sheepdogs are pretty good at math, and they don’t even realize it!Okay, so perhaps that’s a bit simplistic, but the reality is even cooler: an August study in Journal of the Royal Society Interface made an algorithmic assessment of how sheepdogs herd their charges. What they found is that dogs take advantage of sheep flocking behavior, in which they tend to bunch up in response to an outside threat. When this was modeled algorithmically, the team’s digital sheepdog was successful in bunching up a digital flock 100 percent of the time.Motherboard weekend editor Michael Byrne wrote a lovely story about the research when it came out, which you really ought to read. What’s stuck out to me since then—and I can’t stop thinking about it, which is perhaps a bit weird—is one quote from the paper
Drones—especially autonomous ones—can sometimes creep people out because it seems like they have minds of their own. But a new, NASA-backed research project seeks to create something quite different: A living, breathing, biodegradable drone made out of bacteria and fungi.The immediately clear advantage is an environmental one: Drones crash all the time and are often unsalvageable, adding plenty of plastic and other trash to the wealth of it we already have. But, long term, biomaterials aren’t the most interesting draw here.Drones are useful because of all the sensors they have on them—ones that can detect pollution, air quality, bombs, movement, and lots of other things on them
When Amazon announced its Prime Air delivery service right before last year’s Black Friday, everyone kind of wrote it off as a well-timed publicity stunt . But it would appear that Amazon is moving ahead to some extent with the idea, and it’s now looking for a test pilot to rush you that Taylor Swift CD post-haste. Read more..
The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is now patrolling half of the US-Mexico border with drones, according to a new report by the Associated Press.
According to two anonymous sources from within the CBP, Predator B drones fly over remote areas with “a high-resolution video camera and return within three days for another video in the same spot.” Then, those videos are compared to see if there was any difference—footprints, livestock tracks, or vehicle trails.
Agents have found that most of the time, nothing has changed. Only 2 percent of the drone missions did offer evidence of unauthorized border crossings, and the CBP usually places more detailed “ground sensors” in those areas