Chuck, I understand the fear. I've read a ton of science fiction since age 11, so I probably have some of the same worries you do about the Robot Takeover and the War with the Machines (oops, wrong universe). At least I'll probably be long gone if that happens.
Relying on "crowdsourcing" is not a fast moving option. Depending if people are paid or not, work takes a while to push through. People either have to absolutely love the product or company or get paid to help a product along...
Or in the immortal word of one Internet meme "Ain't nobody got time for that!"
It seems that somehow the data created as various folks attempt to dock at a simulated space station is somehow going to be useful. Right??? But the game will certainly obtain lots of data, for sure. But the main value of data is created when it is condensed into knowledge, and the value of knowledge is that it can lead to insight and understanding. Exactly how that happens in this situation is not completely clear to me just yet.
Cabe, if you're responding to my comment, "that didn't take much motivation," I meant that people who have already invested $300 in the AR.Drone--not small change if you ask me--therefore don't need much motivation to use it in this crowdsourcing app. You had said that getting people to participate might be problematic, especially if they weren't paid. But dedicated gamers like these don't need an excuse to play.
William, there's more detail about what the researchers are doing, and plan to do, in the links we gave in the article, including a list of references at the end of the AI project article There's also a list of publications by the Advanced Concepts Team here: http://www.esa.int/gsp/ACT/publications/index.htm
Ann, thanks for pointing out that thye links had additional useful information. Unfortunately for me, I guess, is that I seldom follow links placed in articles, partly because some of those links have been quite slow in the past.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.