aerospace & defense


UAlbany Opens New Indoor Drone Lab - Unmanned Aerial

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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.


Tiny claws let drones perch like birds and bats

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Drones are useful in countless ways, but that usefulness is often limited by the time they can stay in the air. Shouldn't drones be able to take a load off too? With these special claws attached, they can perch or hang with ease, conserving battery power and vastly extending their flight time. The claws, created by a highly multinational team of researchers I'll list at the end, are inspired by birds and bats. The team noted that many flying animals have specially adapted feet or claws suited to attaching the creature to its favored surface.


Transit: The Spaceship RPG - Fiddleback Productions DriveThruRPG.com

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TRANSIT takes place beyond our home planet, allowing you to traverse the unlimited depths of space and explore worlds outside our own galaxy. Your role as an Artificial Intelligence is to inhabit an interplanetary vessel, manage your resources, and direct your crew. You'll deploy your ship's officers into the field, hunt down criminals, engage in interstellar combat, and deliver supplies and colonists to remote settlements. You must rely on your resources to complete missions by acting through your ship, tech, and crew. Three different AI types – Combat, Command, and Support – lend themselves to varied and interesting game play, but it's when an AI is paired with a ship that the real diversity in character creation comes to the fore.


Future Tense Newsletter: An A.I. Cold War?

Slate

This is especially true of the tech sector, where some analysts liken the U.S. and China's heavy strategic investments in cybersecurity, quantum computing, 5G, and artificial intelligence to a digital arms race, one that, because of China's long-term positioning and access to vast amounts of data to train on, that country will win. But Anne-Marie Slaughter argues that when it comes to the world-shifting technology of artificial intelligence, the narrative isn't so simple. She explains why she is putting her money on the United States. Great power conflict isn't the only thing we at Future Tense have been fretting about this week. We've also been looking at digital privacy.


FAA Stands By Safety of Boeing 737 Max 8 After Deadly Crash

U.S. News

Earlier Tuesday, the Dallas Morning News reported that pilots made five complaints about the Boeing aircraft to federal authorities in the months leading up to Sunday's crash. The complaints, voluntarily made in the FAA's incident database, referenced problems with an autopilot system that occurred during the aircraft's ascent after takeoff, according to the Morning News. An FAA spokesman told the paper that such reports were filed directly to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Security Concerns with AI in Manufacturing ManufacturingTomorrow

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From Prototype to Production CGI Motion enables design excellence across a wide range of industrial applications. We thrive on customer driven innovation in precision gearbox, precision machined components and electro-mechanical assembly solutions ranging from aerospace systems to semiconductor applications. We are your design and manufacturing partner helping to differentiate your product, machine or innovation. Our team of problem solving engineers and product managers can bring your application to market on time and under budget. Whether it's an improvement on a current design or groundbreaking new designs, CGI has the know-how and team to enable design excellence.


Boeing developing a fleet of massive robo-submarines for the US Navy that could hit the seas by 2022

Daily Mail

The US Navy has selected Boeing to develop a fleet of massive drone submarines under a $43 million new contract. Over the next few years, the firm will design and test four Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUVs) based on its autonomous Echo Voyager, which can operate at sea for months at a time. The robotic submarines will be modular, meaning they can easily adapted in the future to implement'cost-effective upgrades' and support a variety of missions. Boeing is expected to complete the vehicles by June 2022. Boeing has been chosen to develop four drone submarines, called Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUVs), for the US Navy.


How AI and robotics are going to shape the workplace

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Most jobs in the future don't exist yet beyond a spark of the imagination – that's what nearly half of young people believe. The future will be full of outlandish problems no one has even thought of – but there will be more need than ever for people with the critical and creative-thinking skills to tackle them. "We already know centennials are well aware that industries are undergoing exponential change," says Professor Nick Colosimo, principal technologist at BAE Systems. Some 47 per cent of young people expect to work in industries that don't yet exist, research by BAE Systems shows, while nearly two thirds (63 per cent) think that job roles will be more exciting than those of their parents' era. Advances in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing and nanofabrication, automation and robotics will inevitably reshape the job market.


SpaceX's Crew Dragon test flight gets through the toughest bit without issue

Mashable

SpaceX sent its Crew Dragon capsule skyward on Saturday for a crucial test of its ability to carry human passengers. Now, slightly more than 24 hours later, the next phase of the test has played out. The Crew Dragon capsule, designated Demo-1, was able to successfully dock with the International Space Station at roughly 3:00 a.m. Although there was no crew aboard this time, SpaceX's reusable capsule is designed to carry up to seven astronauts to and from Earth's orbit. SEE ALSO: SpaceX kicks off a'new era in spaceflight' with the Crew Dragon launch The company has been sending an earlier version of its capsule to the ISS for a number of years, but in those instances the space station's robotic arm has helped the smaller vehicle successfully dock.


SpaceX's New Crew Capsule Successfully Docks at the International Space Station

TIME

SpaceX's new crew capsule arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, acing its second milestone in just over a day. No one was aboard the Dragon capsule launched Saturday on its first test flight, only an instrumented dummy. But the three station astronauts had front-row seats as the sleek, white vessel neatly docked and became the first American-made, designed-for-crew spacecraft to pull up in eight years. TV cameras on Dragon as well as the space station provided stunning views of one another throughout the rendezvous. If the six-day demo goes well, SpaceX could launch two astronauts this summer under NASA's commercial crew program.