Culture

Device neutralizes drones without destroying them (Tomorrow Daily 259)

Ashley discusses an antidrone weapon that brings down commercial drones without breaking them, research efforts to teach robots how to fall down more safely and a high-tech paper airplane kit that incorporates a VR element.

Battelle works on some interesting research here in the US, and it has recently unveiled the DroneDefender, an antidrone weapon designed for law enforcement to neutralize a drone without physically attacking it. Shooting drones out of the sky is illegal, plus it creates a dangerous falling object in crowded locations; however, there are times where police and firefighters need to bring down a drone when it's flying illegally, and DroneDefender appears to be a safe solution for dealing with commercial drones.

Georgia Institute of Technology is in the middle of an important series of experiments revolving around teaching robots how to fall a little more gracefully. If a robot falls down, the results can be catastrophic; a worst-case scenario means the robot is completely incapacitated, which is why GIT thinks teaching robots how humans and animals react and protect themselves when they fall is an important piece of the puzzle in helping robots care for themselves.

PowerUp announced plans to create a paper plane kit that includes an RC engine, a camera, and a Google Cardboard-esque headset for your smartphone. A companion app allows the pilot to get a first-person view from their paper plane's cockpit as it flies around.

Producer Logan and Ashley are both into TV shows this week, with Logan enjoying the newest season of FX's "Fargo," and Ashley diving into David Lynch's strange murder mystery "Twin Peaks."

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