Category Archives: Engineering

Exploring Ethics of Drones and Other UAVs

When you hear the word “drone,” what first comes to mind?

Most people usually think of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated by the military in order to spy on citizens and drop bombs on unsuspecting targets.

Lucien Miller, CEO of Innov8tive Designs, explains that the first drone, called the Kettering Bug, was flown almost a hundred years ago, in 1918. Early drones like this were essentially torpedoes with wings, unguided aircraft that dropped bombs with little target accuracy.  It was these types of UAVs that have led people to fear the term drone and the destruction associated with them.

But today, drones and UAVs are rapidly gaining commercial popularity as UAV systems are becoming available at prices non-military budgets can afford. Miller says modern UAVs are becoming so small, they can  be purchased for as little as $400. And now their uses extend far beyond covert military operations, such as search and rescue missions, endangered species protection, and infrastructure inspection, just to name a few.

Keith McLellen, CEO of ROV Systems joins the show to discuss the risks that come with the benefits of drones, the biggest concern being an increase in aerial surveillance and an invasion of privacy.

Watch “Drones and Other UAVs: Benefits and Risks – Exploring Ethics” to hear from Miller, McLellen, and retired Commander Bob Osborne, who worked for the LA County Sheriffs department for 38 years, about the life-saving and livelihood-threatening technology of modern drones.

Watch other videos about UAVs and Drones.

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The Resurgence of Manufacturing

The most recent presidential election brought the issue of outsourcing to the forefront of Americans’ minds as citizens became concerned that they were losing their jobs to factories in China or Bangladesh.

However, Peter Cowhey, Dean of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UC San Diego, tells us that the U.S. remains the largest manufacturer based on total output.

As rumors stir about the de-industrialization of America, Cowhey explains that the rate of manufacturing only seems to be drastically declining, because it is not growing as fast as the rest of our economy.

In “The Resurgence of Manufacturing in the United States,” Cowhey is joined by Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs, Vizio CEO Willliam Wang, former Gateway CEO Ted Waitt and journalist James Fallows to discuss the trends of manufacturing as well as strategies for keeping and creating jobs in the United States.

For more videos with Peter Cowhey, click here or see what other programs on globalization are available.

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Between Inventor and Invention

Where do technology innovations come from? We associate revolutionary inventions like the light bulb with their inventors, attributing the solitary genius of people like Thomas Edison with the production of something that has changed society.

Professor Andrew Hargadon of UC Davis challenges this view of innovation, in the hopes of demystifying the cumulative process of modern inventions.

With increasing demands for more, faster solutions to the environmental and social dilemas of today, Hargadon explores the history of the light bulb’s invention in order to reveal the distorted way that the public construes the process of innovation.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory presents Hargadon’s talk “Long Fuse, Big Bang: Thomas Edison, Electricity, and the Locus of Innovation” which goes to show that innovation might not work the way you think it does.

For more videos from Professor Hargadon, click here.

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The Future of Light

The lights are about to dim on the UCTV Prime series “Lighting the World: Shuji Nakamura and His Brilliant Discovery,” but not before we present the fourth and final episode, “The Future of Light.”

Look at some of the research taking place at UC Santa Barbara’s Solid State Lighting and Energy Center, get a preview of what the future holds when it comes to lighting and power use and discover how Professor Nakamura’s work continues to affect the world.

Watch “The Future of Light — Lighting the World: Shuji Nakamura and His Brilliant Discovery.” If you missed the first three episodes, catch up at the series website.

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Unleashing the Light: White-Light Emitting LED

The first two episodes of UCTV Prime’s series “Lighting the World: Shuji Nakamura and His Brilliant Discovery” illuminated the UC Santa Barbara researcher’s path towards discovery.

With “Unleashing the Light,” the third video in the series, we look back on Nakamura’s breakthrough which enabled the creation of the white-light emitting LED, a crucial discovery that unleashed a revolution in the way the world uses light and power.

Watch “Unleashing the Light” or visit the “Lighting the World” series page to catch up on earlier episodes.

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