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Be prepared in the near future when you gaze into the blue skies to perceive a whole series of strange-looking things – no, they will not be birds, nor planes, or even superman. They may be temporarily, and in some cases startlingly mistaken as UFOs, given their bizarre and ominous appearance. But, in due course, they will become recognized as valuable objects of a new era of human-made flying machines, intended to serve a broad range of missions and objectives. Many such applications are already incorporated and well entrenched in serving essential functions for extending capabilities in our vital infrastructures such as transportation, utilities, the electric grid, agriculture, emergency services, and many others. Rapidly advancing technologies have made possible the dramatic capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV/drones) to uniquely perform various functions that were inconceivable a mere few years ago.
The University of Albany in Upstate New York recently unveiled a two-story, 1,700-square-foot drone lab. The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) hosted an open house last month to launch the lab, located in the basement of Page Hall at the university's downtown campus. The space, enclosed with netting and rubber flooring, offers a controlled indoor environment for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight training, along with land-based robotics research and educational opportunities. According to a press release from UAlbany, last summer, Brandon Behlendorf, an assistant professor at CEHC, was leaving his office in Richardson Hall when he stumbled upon an aging stairwell on the north corner of the second floor. Wondering where it led, he made his way down five stories to a locked door in the basement.
The project named'Enhancing the Region through New Technology for Unmanned Systems,' will implement a new drone technology training program at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. This program will open up a career pathway, by enhancing the learning opportunities for high school students and extending to four-year degree attainment through partnerships with other higher-education institutions. This project aims to capitalize on the "Alleghany Highlands Drone Zone Initiative," a business accelerator program to support enterprises in the UAS industry in Alleghany County. "Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) is inspiring the innovative thinking that will help to push Virginia's economy forward," says Governor, Ralph Northam.
Teen scientists use machine learning and neural networks to detect and diagnose diseases, track space debris, design drones and justify conclusions at Intel ISEF 2017. While sentient computer beings like HAL from the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey or Samantha from the 2013 film Her may still be on the distant horizon, some forms of artificial intelligence (AI) are already improving lives. At the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) – where nearly 1,800 high school students gathered to present original research and compete for more than $4 million in prizes – the next generation of scientists used machine learning and artificial neural networks to find solutions to some of today's most vexing problems. "AI is critical to our future," said Christopher Kang, a budding computer scientist from Richland, Washington, who won an ISEF award in the robotics and intelligent machines category. "Humans have a limit as to how much data we can analyze," he said.
Eric Sondheimer has been covering high school sports for the Los Angeles Times since 1997 and in Southern California since 1976. Get his latest from the field and follow all our prep sports coverage and analysis here. The Southern Section Division 1 track and field preliminary meet at Trubuco Hills High School on Saturday featured a water balloon attack from a lone drone. Near the start of the meet, around 11:30 a.m., a group of people positioned themselves on the hill above the track and allegedly flew a drone carrying water balloons over the track. One race official remarked that the water balloons were completely decimated upon impact.
In April, a group of Finnish farmers outfitted a spindly black drone with a remote-controlled chainsaw and filmed it decapitating snowmen. They called it "Killer Drone." More formally, it was a DJI S1000. This spring, marine biologists flew a drone over the Sea of Cortez to capture samples of the fluid sprayed from the blowholes of blue whales. It was a DJI Inspire 1.