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iRobot Cofounder Developing UAVs for Search and Rescue

Helen Greiner’s stealth-mode robotics company will focus on emergency response.

We finally have a hint of what The Droid Works, a stealthy-mode start-up founded by Helen Grenier, one of the cofounders of iRobot, will develop.

The NSF has given The Droid Works a grant worth nearly $100,000 to develop indoor and outdoor unmanned air vehicles. According to the report, the UAVs will be used for emergency response:

Indoor applications would enable the UAVs to respond to emergency situations that involve large steps, closed doors and rough terrain. The NSF grant will be used to develop indoor flight control and safety technology for the UAVs.

Other researchers are developing UAVs and other robots to assist with a rescue or survey an area following a disaster. Robin Murphy, a professor of computer science at Texas A&M University, is leading one effort to use snake-like robots to rescue people trapped beneath rubble. More recently she developed a way to use multiply UAVs to survey an area and locate survivors.

Deep Dive

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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