Monday, 5 December, 2011
If cars can be driverless why then can’t aircraft be pilotless, or completely automated?
In the sphere of commercial flight, too, automation has thinned the cockpit crew from five to just the pilot and copilot, whose jobs it has greatly simplified. Do we even need those two? Many aviation experts think not. “A pilotless airliner is going to come; it’s just a question of when,” said James Albaugh, the president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airlines, in a talk he gave in August at the AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference, in Portland, Ore. “You’ll see it in freighters first, over water probably, landing very close to the shore.”
Flight, and to a lesser degree, take off, are usually fairly straightforward processes – in controlled airspace anyway – but I wonder how an auto-pilot would deal with landing, which can be a little more delicate?
air travel, aircraft, automation, pilots
Thursday, 27 May, 2010
Hilary Mason has written a couple of scripts that can identity and auto-reply to email messages that are of a certain subject, and also send follow up messages to people who have not replied to your emails.
Mason wrote a series of scripts that auto-respond to email with particular content, and auto-nag folks she’s emailed but hasn’t gotten a response from yet.
Once she has perfected the code, she will post the open-source scripts online.
automation, email, productivity, scripts, time-management
Monday, 28 September, 2009
While based on US census data, this graphic depicting changing occupations and work roles is probably reasonably similar in a number of other areas.
What I found interesting though was the rise in the number of clercial work roles (in the 80 to 90% region of the graph)… with increasing automation I’d have thought that sort of work would have likewise gone the way of farm work.
automation, jobs, occupations, work
Tuesday, 16 June, 2009
David Mindell argues that “the cult of the astronaut”, built around the first people sent into space by NASA, has prevented automated space exploration programs, and other beneficial technologies, from being utilised.
NASA‘s engineering culture supported the centrality of the astronaut. Initially designated “capsules,” crew vehicles were renamed “spacecraft” to signify the human pilot’s mastery and control. The terminology matched the technology: The spacecraft’s controls, displays, and overall structure were designed with the pilot in mind. Yet many steps in the flights were automated, from the closed-loop launches to the predominantly automatic reentries. No human being could have handled all the complex tasks involved in orbital rendezvous and lunar landings without the aid of computers and fly-by-wire systems.
astronauts, automation, space exploration, space travel, technology