Although Google’s driverless car continues to be road tested with some impressive results, and research firms like Boston Consulting Group estimate that the first commercial driverless cars could appear in 2017, with more widespread adoption coming a decade later, there are still significant issues that must be worked out before driverless cars can take to the road with an acceptable level of risk.
Although it was unknown to many, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) played a major combative role in California’s Happy Camp Complex Wildfire in October 2014. The UAVs provided video visualizations of fire lines and mountains through smoke-obscured skies, mapped retardant drops and tracked firefighting vehicles as well as the advancement of the fire itself.
Global positioning technology is most often associated with GPS navigation in vehicles and locational services on mobile devices. But with the growth of big data initiatives, which combine data from many different sources and then analyze and draw actionable conclusions from it, more companies are innovating new business contexts in which to deploy GPS.
In February 2001, two surgeons in New York City used robots in the operating room in concert with Internet-based communications to successfully remove the gallbladder of a patient 3,900 miles away in Strasbourg, France. It was the first telesurgery. Using a three-armed robot, the surgeons guided two of the robotic arms to cut tiny incisions into the patient’s abdomen, while the third arm inserted a mini-camera into her abdominal cavity for visibility of internal area that would guide the surgery.
In a global economy, the future for manufacturers will be presiding over a network of factories producing different parts, subassemblies and final assemblies throughout the world—with the ability to trigger next step processes in plants that are half a world away, and run by robots and other automated instrumentation.
As global commerce expands, developing countries with emerging economies become destinations for goods—and as global warming disrupts weather patterns, catastrophic events like tsunamis and floods become more impactful.
Eighty-six percent of U.S. and Canadian construction contractors have been using building information modeling (BIM) for three or more years, with almost half of contractors from large and mid-sized companies claiming highly advanced BIM skills.
The LiDAR market is projected to grow to $551.26 million by 2018, with heavy penetration in industrial and commercial sectors. This is broad-based expansion for a technology that began in the early 1960s, when its use was strictly limited to government and military applications.
We have only to look to our northern neighbor to see drones that are already being placed into commercial use. In Canada, commercial drones that are outfitted with high-definition cameras or infrared sensors are being used in agriculture to monitor crops.
Clearly, outsourcing all or part of your IT operations to off premises vendors is on the rise, but it’s also important to remember that outside hosting of your IT is not the best solution for every situation. If your business is surveying or other engineering-intensive work, the last thing you want to do is to sidetrack part of your staff with computer maintenance and trouble-shooting—yet many smaller firms must do this.