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Mining is one of the most ancient trades performed by humans. It is also one of the trades whose evolution has been fairly slow, considering that the first mining efforts were to search for stones suitable for making tools approximately 2,6 million years ago. Today, mining is a far cry from the traditional depiction of pack mules, pickaxes, canaries and rugged prospectors.
Technology for underwater applications, such as drones, uses underwater acoustic sensor networks (UWASNs) to survey and collect environmental data, and monitor pollution, for instance pipeline leakages. They are also used for surveillance and disaster prevention and recovery.
History provides many instances of technologies developed for military application being spun off and used in the civilian sector for different, broader uses and at lower prices. Drones and other unmanned powered vehicles are a good example.
In conflicts, throughout history all sides have tried to make the best possible use of inventions and technology to gain a decisive advantage over adversaries. At the same time developing systems to minimize one’s own losses has also been a priority. Military needs have often accelerated many technologies, through improvements to existing systems or the development of new ones. More and more of these technologies have been adopted for civilian use, the reverse process from civilian to military applications is also observed, to a lesser extent.
New technology is revolutionizing the way we will consider transport in the near future. Flying cars are one of the options on the cards and a number of IEC Standards can help the various industries involved.
Take the 170 countries in the IEC family, the 20 000 technical experts who work in standards development, the many certification bodies (CBs) and test laboratories (TLs) in the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems, and add to the mix the rapid pace at which technologies are evolving today and you have hundreds, if not thousands of stories that can be told within the IEC community.
What is the future for cars, buses and trucks? Manufacturers are competing to stay relevant in the years ahead. The IEC is also paving the way with a number of forward-looking Standards.
Rapid advances in technology are revolutionizing the roles of aerial, terrestrial and maritime robotic systems in disaster relief, search and rescue (SAR) and salvage operations. Robots and drones can be deployed quickly in areas deemed too unsafe for humans and are used to guide rescuers, collect data, deliver essential supplies or provide communication services.
From robots delivering small packages in cities, to driverless trucks transporting bulk loads over long distances, advances in robotic delivery in the next decade will lead to significant changes in retail markets, the freight haulage industry and transport in general.
The pan shot zooms in as it sweeps around the stage. Executed with precision, flawless deliveries of television news and entertainment shows have become the norm. Switch to sport and the thrill of the Super Bowl just intensified thanks to the use of new replay systems, higher resolution and very clever camera work. But how do the cameramen do it?
The drone as we know it today began life in the 1800s and was originally used for target practice to train military personnel. Now, they are increasingly available for less than USD 1 000 in the consumer market, and their potential development in commercial and leisure applications is slowly replacing the public perception of their use as tools for military operations abroad.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have rapidly entered the civilian market after having been widely developed for military operations. They already have a disrupting effect on a wide range of commercial activities and that’s just a beginning.
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