Large Grant Awarded to VeHICaL

In a recent article on the website, Berkeley News, the announcement of a $4.6 million grant was discussed. With companies wanting to integrate driver less cars and delivery drones into our society, the need for the safe operation of these machines is paramount. The National Science Foundation has awarded UC Berkeley $4.6 million over five to a group of researchers called VeHICaL, towards researching and improving the human/machine interface. With this grant VeHICaL hopes to find new and improved ways to the manner in which humans and machines interact. How may humans benefit from the interaction with robots? How can drones hurt/help society? How may people be hesitant to adopt this technology?

Blockchain: Solution for a safer airspace?

In a recent article on the website, Security Intelligence, the idea of blockchain is introduced. Security is becoming more of an issue as more and more businesses and individuals are using UAVs. Concerns range from privacy to terrorism. Drones can interfere with large aircraft, take pictures of private spaces, and even deliver explosives and other weapons with devastating effects. Fortunately, technology is being developed to regulate this industry and the se of UAVs. Blockchain can help to organize information, regulate airspace, and protect drones and individuals by providing a type of virtual air traffic control system. How ubiquitous will blockchain become? What other technologies may compete with blockchain? How will agencies like the FAA enforce the use of blockchain by users?

An Integration of The Sciences

In a recent article on the website, National Science Foundation, the announcement of a $13 million award was discussed. These awards will aid the advancement of cyber-physical systems. These systems are geared toward the integration of computational and physical pieces that improve output, efficiencies and the quality of life. Researchers in in technical fields like engineering will partner with counterparts in fields such as urban planning and music to find solutions too many of society’s problems. How do you thing people form differing backgrounds will work together? What type of solutions do you think they will find? How will society benefit from this integration?

A Powerful Alliance

In a recent article on, PR Newswire, the topic of delivery drones is discussed. A leading developer of autonomous logistics systems, Matternet, has partnered with Mercedes-Benz to revolutionize the delivery drone landscape. Matternet’s state of the art cloud technology will be paired with Mercedes-Benz’ directional software to allow the autonomous flight of these delivery drones. The main focus of Matternet’s design is its safety features. With the Drone industry ready to explode it is necessary to have software and systems in place that allow for the safe use of this emerging technology. What other projects could Mercedes-Benz and Matternet team up for in the future? How will delivery drones change the way we do business? How soon can this technology be put into daily use?


In a recent article on the website The DZone, the use of drones to protect underwater ecosystems is discussed. Underwater drones are being used to locate, diagnose, and eradicate invasive starfish. Along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, drone technology is being implemented to remove crown of thorns starfish. These starfish are responsible for up to 40% of the decline of coral reefs and this new technology is  huge step in restoring the health of these environments. What may limit the use of these drones? How effective are the drones at locating the starfish? How long can these drones operate before recharging?

Drones: Shaping the Internet of Things

In a recent article on the website sUAS News, the potential for drones as the driving force for the internet of things is highlighted. The internet of things (IoT) is based on the central idea that devices and humans can talk to one another and relay and report information. This is done primarily through sensors “at rest” that gather information and relay it to a back end data collection center which can then be interpreted for the end user. This simple idea is quickly being incorporated to drones which are capable of a myriad of functions and provide a highly mobile component. As drones become more complex, being able to integrate them into our everyday functions and processes is becoming an increasing trend. How will unmanned drones shape the IoT? What are some of the benefits of the mobile function that drones can provide to the IoT? What types of industries will most benefit from this technology?

Drones: A Booming Industry

The drone industry train is leaving the station, and no one is waiting for the government to hop on board. In an article in Business Insider, dated May 27th, 2015, it points out current players in the rise of the commercial drone industry, potential markets, and current and proposed legislation to regulate the use of drones. Why are companies not waiting for government regulation in the drone industry? What are the benefits of not waiting for legislation regarding drones? What are some of the risks?