Drones with a sense of direction mean less dependence on human pilots




Commercial drones are starting to be used for tasks like inspecting oil rigs and crops. But they still require a highly skilled human pilot, and even those that are semi-autonomous usually use prebuilt maps or access the data over a wireless link.

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich are making drones more independent. They have demonstrated a small drone that can build its own 3D map of an unfamiliar environment with minimal help from a human operator, and then plan its own routes around a space and its obstacles autonomously.

“This is the first time we can show full mapping, relocalization — finding the drone on the map — and planning on board,” says researcher Michael Burri, who worked on the project. The combination of software and sensors could make it easier to deploy drones for tasks like inspecting an oil rig, he says. A company would need to do one manual flight to have a drone build its map. For subsequent inspections, the drone could do the job autonomously. Read more…

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2015 Career Assessment and Evaluation: Are You Moving in the Right Direction?

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2015 Career Assessment and Evaluation

The year is coming to an end, and soon, it will be time to work on the items you want to change in the new year. Is a new career or job position one of those items you are seeking a change in?

In our busy day-to-day lives, it can be a little difficult to sit back and view the whole picture. One way that you can determine if you are following the right path professionally is by assessing your situation from an honest place. By asking yourself a few simple questions, you will be able to see if you are heading towards success or may be going down a path of career failure.

Even though I am self employed, I have taken this Career Assessment and Evaluation for several years, and it has helped me fine tune my goals, the steps I take, and what path I want to chart. I share it on my blog each year because I also think that it can help you with seeing the realistic picture.

Take a moment out of your day to complete this evaluation. Answer the questions honestly, don’t rush through it, and make sure that you give a lot of thought to each answer. And then once you are done, allow the data to manifest itself to help you map out your career plan going forward.

Here’s my 2015 Career Assessment and Evaluation. In order to better understand where you are going in terms of your career, you must answer these questions:

  • Am I happy with my career?
  • Am I professionally where I planned to be this time last year?
  • Does my career or profession give me enjoyment and fulfillment?
  • Does my career allow me to take care of all of my responsibilities financially?
  • Am I stuck in a career rut?
  • 10 years from now, do I want to be doing what I am doing now? If not, what is it I want to do? What steps do I need to take to begin transitioning?
  • Am I being compensated adequately for my work?
  • Do I like working with my colleagues or coworkers?
  • Do I fit into and understand the company’s culture?
  • Am I working for the company I want to retire with?
  • If I wasn’t working at _________, what would I be doing? Where would I be?
  • Does my career bring me stress?
  • Does my career allow me personal time and a life outside of work?
  • Do I feel positively challenged in my career?
  • Do I know what my career goals are for the next year? If so, what?
  • What goals did I not reach this year professionally that I wanted to reach?
  • Do I have a good working relationship with my peers and boss?
  • Do I like the career field that I am in?

No matter where you are professionally, this Career Assessment and Evaluation can be used as a tool to gauge, plot, and properly plan your next steps.

The Cubicle Chick