Monday, January 30, 2017

New Spacesuit to go with New Spacecraft

Soon, astronauts from will use a new spacecraft, the Boeing Starliner. They will also utilize the Boeing Starliner Spacesuit, a cutting-edge backup system to the new craft, bringing more safety and comfort.

Thanks to advances in materials, it's 10 pounds lighter than the exit and reentry suits worn aboard the space shuttle, with the ability to let water vapor out yet keep air in. The new helmet and visor are integrated, the gloves are touchscreen-friendly to accommodate modern controls, and the joints are more flexible, letting the brave men and women who wear it move more freely.

See this at NASA...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017

Could Drones Help Protect the Chesapeake Bay?

Aerial photos are used at present to track pollution into the Chesapeake Bay. Could drones help?

Aerial photos have been a part of environmental litigation for decades, but advocates say they are becoming even more important because of privacy concerns and so-called “ag-gag” laws in effect in several states now that forbid citizens from going on a farm property to take photographs or videos. More than half of the states have enacted restrictions on drones and their use for photography, though not Maryland or Virginia — yet.

Read more....

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

More Robots Coming.... To a Sidewalk Near You!

Not just aerial unmanned vehicles, but terrestrial, as well, are making their way to us...

Designers of futuristic cityscapes envision airborne drones dropping off your packages and driverless cars taking you to work. But the robotic-delivery invasion already has begun — in the form of machines that look like wheeled beer coolers scooting along the sidewalks.

...But Missy Cummings, director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University, worries that new technologies such as drones and sidewalk robots are being developed without enough attention paid to how they will interact with people or to how people will react.

“It’s a huge problem in robotics, which are developed by engineers” who know little about human interaction, she said. “Look at Google Glass,” she said. The eyeglasses had tiny screens that allowed Internet access, and wearers could take photos and videos using voice commands.

Read more at the WaPo...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Universal Income -- Some Already Have It

Some critics of universal basic income decry it on the basis that a UBI would deliver individuals income in a way that is divorced from working. Such an income arrangement would, it is argued, lead to meaninglessness, social dysfunction, and resentment. Passive income — income divorced from work — already exists, in the form of capital income.

Read more here...

Monday, January 2, 2017

Downside of Robot Cars - Less Kidneys

Should autonomous cars reach anywhere near their potential of saving lives, the US will face a decline in available organs for transplant.