In this week’s episode of the Engineering Update starring Editor Kasey Panetta (@kcpanetta), Digital Editor Jason Lomberg (@JasonECNMag), and WDD’s Editor-in-Chief, Janine E. Mooney (@JMooneyWDD):
The FAA’s proposed rules for commercial drones
Domestic drones represent a potential goldmine – quite possibly the greatest business opportunity since the automobile – and a plethora of different companies have proposed various commercial applications. But one of the biggest roadblocks to any sort of mass deployment of commercial drones is federal regulations – or in this case, a lack thereof. Uncertainty creates a poisonous environment, and coupled with the fact that Congress has directed the FAA to safely integrate drones into domestic airspace, these proposed rules are long-overdue. However, one rule in particular could cripple the fledgling domestic drone industry. (Update 2/18: The FAA’s proposed rules would, indeed, kill Amazon Prime Air and other drone applications that violate the line-of-sight requirement)
Read: FAA’s proposed rules would cripple domestic drone industry
A W.I.N.D. house that can be controlled by a smartphone
The W.I.N.D. House, by Dutch firm UNStudio, can be completely controlled from inside the house or remotely by a smartphone, and sports sustainable technology that reduces its dependence on the grid. Work on the W.I.N.D. House began in 2008 and the project was completed in 2014. The home features a usable 4,370 square feet and takes the basic shape of a flower petal, with a fully glazed front and rear exterior. The interior features a mostly open-plan layout. Private areas like bedrooms and bathrooms face the woods at the back of the house, while more public living areas offer views of the landscape in the front of the home.
Telescopic contact lenses
For those of us who can’t make out whether the fuzzy shape four feet away is a person or a chair without our glasses on, contacts seem like a minor miracle. But for researchers at EPFl in Switzerland the future isn’t regular contacts, it’s telescopic lenses. Though they were originally debuted in 2013, the new and improved version, showcased at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences are capable of magnifying 2.8 times. The 1.5mm lens contains a very thin reflective telescope.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)