The IndUS Network e-magazine
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Dec 2013

The sky is the limit !

In this Edition

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Editor's Desk

The sky is the limit !

US Coast Guard Captain Chris Martino once said, "The 20th century was the era of manned aircraft; the 21st century is the era of unmanned aircraft". His prophecy is turning out to be true as unmanned aircrafts, also known as Drones, are slowly taking to civilian skies. Recently Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, created a flutter when he announced that Amazon is experimenting with Octocopters, a small sized unmanned air system (sUAS), in order to accelerate a customer's delivery. As soon as a customer places an order, an Octocopter will pick up the order in a yellow bucket from a fulfillment center and will deliver to the customer in 30 minutes or less. This means you are looking to receive your Amazon order faster than your pizza order!

Drone, a term which is always associated with unmanned war planes, is really meant to refer any Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) not necessarily a war plane. With the cost of UAVs coming down, President Obama has ordered the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to develop regulations for testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015. FAA expects at least 30,000 drones to occupy civilian skies by 2020. Be informed that drones are already in US skies. Law Enforcement use drones for search and rescue, fire fighting, crop spraying and arresting criminals. North Dakota has the first registered case of drone-assisted arrest which was accepted by the court. US Customs and Border Protection operates 9 drones for border and counter-narcotic surveillance. FBI use drones to manage and monitor hostage stand offs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) uses it to monitor weather and ecosystems. Journalists, sports photographers, real estate agents, wild life reseachers use them for aerial photos and videos. Even the utility industry is interested in having drones to identify downed power lines after a storm. Now with commercial organizations like Amazon showing interest, you will be very soon living in a world which will look like what was fantasized in sci-fi movies like Star wars and Star Trek. You can see Octocopters and Drones flying past your living room window to deliver pizzas, parcels, dinners and mail!

After reading this, if you were worried about the sky, hold your thoughts. There are unmanned cars already traveling with you in your highways! A road train comprising a Volvo XC60, a Volvo V60 and a Volvo S60 plus one truck automatically driving in convoy behind a lead vehicle has operated on a public motorway among other road users. This historic test was successfully completed in Spain in 2012. In US, Google has been experimenting with driverless cars on the San Francisco-Palo Alto highway (280). Their specially-equipped Toyota Prius and Audi TT have racked up over 140,000 miles on the road, out of which 1,000 miles were without a driver. Now, when you are driving, you should not only watch for pedestrians and bikers, but also for driverless cars! Next time, when you encounter a car accident, you may not find a driver to provide his driver's license and insurance! Insurance companies have already raised their concerns about liability due to driverless cars to government regulators. No decisions have been made yet, but things are cooking.

In this edition, we have covered content on the rapid automation which is occurring across various industries. Some automations are exciting while some are terrifying. Now you can read our content and make your own judgement. In the brain-tickler section, we have provided an opportunity for you to learn more about Drones. In the health section, learn about Robot Assisted Surgery and Medical Microbots. In the song and poem section, enjoy few holiday season pick on Christmas theme. In our nugget section, we have paid our tribute to the greatest fighter, father of South Africa - Nelson Mandela. Learn few things which you might not have known about him. Now, read, enjoy and share the magazine with your network!

  • In the Brain-tickler category:
    • 'Drone' Technology: Myths, Facts and Future ...
  • In the Health Topic section:
    • Learn about Robots in Healthcare, "Robot Assisted Surgery"
    • From fiction to reality -"Medical Microbots"
  • In the English Song category:
    • Listen to our English song Picks - It is the most wonderful time of the year!
    • Listen to the picked songs continuously with our Jukebox!
  • In the Seriously Funny section:
    • Watch the clip - "Customer Comes First: Drone Delivery"
    • Read the humor, "Automated Coffee vending machine ..."
    • Read the humor, "A robot walked into a pharmacy !"
  • In the Surfboard section:
    • Read the story "What is your mental strength: Henry Evans and his robots!"
  • In the Tamil Picks section:
    • Enjoy the 10 Tamil songs picked out of 20+ songs to cherish the holiday season - Christmas !
    • Enjoy the video picks continuously, on-demand in our new video channel.
    • Listen to the song picks continuously in Jukebox.
    • Read the tamil poem picks "Pandigai Kalangal"
  • In the Recipe Spot section:
    • Learn how to make "Eggless Fruit Cake" at home.
  • Nuggets:
    • Enjoy our tribute to Nelson Mandela in various section of this edition
      - "Yes it is true. Nelson Mandela was on US watch list"- in Editor's desk section
      - "Mandela was found not guilty in his first trial ...", "He studied law for 50 years ..." - in Health section
      - "Mandela was married 3 times during his life span ..." - in Surfboard section
      - "Only person to receive all 3 medals ..."- in Reader's footprint section
      - "The poem which inspired Nelson Mandela ..." - in Your feedback section
  • Get Inspired by watching the video, "Data: a robotic stand up comedian!"

As always, we are very confident that you will enjoy our picks. Write your feedback about this issue by clicking on the email icon or feedback icon. We truly value your opinion, thoughts and time.

Editor's Desk Image credit: Octocopter:, Driverless car:

Nelson Mandela: Few things you might not have known about him ...


It is very embarassing but it is true! Nelson Mandela was on US terror watch list till 2008. Nelson Mandela and other ANC (Africal National Congress) leaders needed a special waiver from US Secretary of State if they had to visit US as ANC was listed as a terrorist organization from 1980. Later, a bill scrapping the designation was introduced by Howard Berman, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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