Over the last decade, drone technology has advanced significantly, due in part to innovations in small mobile devices including cell phones, tablets, and other personal electronics. Drones are now smaller, faster, and less expensive, and this trend is likely to continue. Although the term ‘drones’ has a negative connotation in many minds, the rapid increase in potential high-impact and game-changing non-military applications has attracted significant attention from the average do-it-yourselfer to tech giants that see the technology as disruptive. This talk will summarize the key emerging applications for consumer drones, including drone-assisted emergency response and environmental monitoring, and it will highlight some of the challenges ahead and the technology’s impact on society and the quality of life.
Kam K. Leang received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah in December 1997 and 1999, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Washington in December 2004. He is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Utah. He is a core member of the University of Utah Robotics Center. His research covers three main areas: (1) design and control of high-speed nanopositioning systems, (2) control and manufacturing of electroactive polymer actuators for soft robotics, and (3) design, motion planning, and control of mobile robotic systems. He is a Fellow of ASME and Senior Member of IEEE.
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