Cabe, This article just illustrates how disruptive tech can open opportunities for future employment. With proper technical training, the field of robotics can create future jobs. Those who wish not to be retrain and complain about being unemployed have made their own bed to rest in. Great article!!
Yes, this is one of the few occasions where bots are a welcome site in the work place.
In a gesture of brotherly love and DIY finesse, Ernie Fessenden built an RC truck with a built in camera to keep his bother safe in Afghanistan. His brother, Sergeant Chris Fessenden, routinely used this "Traxxis Stampede RC truck" in the battle field. The RC truck's hood mounted camera sent a video relay to an LCD that Sergeant Chris Fessenden had attached to his rifle. When an object in the road looked suspicious, the RC truck would be deployed.
During one such incident, the truck was sent out to investigate an area. During the investigation, the RC truck triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) intended to be used on Sergeant Fessenden's convoy. All soldiers were saved from the 500 pounds of explosives, but the $500 dollar RC truck was lost. Ernie Fessenden has already sent another replacement. He is a good brother.
What troubles me in this story is the fact that a home-made device is all the group of soldiers had to investigate a possible trap. I think something like this RC truck should be in every military vehicle. Are a handful of lives not worth $500? If I had Ernie Fessenden's plans for his truck, I would gladly build a few.
firstname.lastname@example.org, I agree It is a tough call but Cabe's article provides motivation and inspiration to return to school an receive training in robotics and electromechanics tech fields. I'm inspired as well as motivated because I can share the slides and video with my ITT Tech Students about jobs in the technology field of robotics and electromechanics. I'm truly pumped up about this article and video!
Jim_E, we've written about a few robots controlled by iPads, such as the Parrot AR. Drone 2.0: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=238273 A surprising number of military robots are being designed using platforms based on OTS hobbyist or gamer technology.
Ann, It's quite interesting you mentioned gamer technology because I was quite intrigue with the solider operating the iRobot Packbot using a game controller. Also, wearable devices are quite big with the military as shown in the video with a heads-up display system embedded with the sunglasses. Cool video!
mrdon, Jim_E actually brought up gamer technology, but I think it's interesting that widely available input devices like iPads, iPods, or gamer controllers are being used for a lot of military robotics. It's all basically OTS, or COTS in mil terms.
Ann, Oops, ok. As it relates to iPads and iPods, I recently developed an Android App for my smartphone using App-Inventor software to create a simple gesture controller for my LEGO Mindstorms NXT controller. Using portable devices like iPads, iPods, and Android smartphones integrated with gesture control software can create new technologies to be used with OTS and COTs as well.
>Gaming controllers are often used in drone/bot activity in the military. A great use of >gaming skills, but way more traumatizing than any game. I wonder how detached >those pilots become..
As a former gamer,I almost hate to say this, but I suspect that the current ultra-realistic first person shooter (FPS) games likely end up having the players develop a sort of insensitivity towards what they are doing.
I must be getting old, but when I read about how some of these modern day mass murders played FPS games, I can't help but think that the games might have some influence on their actions. Obviously most of them have some sort of mental health problems, and you can't just blame the games (or the guns) but it can't be a beneficial thing for them to play FPS games.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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