Another wonderful example of the importance of funding basic research by capable people. It may not be possible to predict the outcome (it is a very different process from building a road) - but really innovative discoveries can have extremely important impacts. Otherwise, we'll just keep doing the same things over and over.
Yes, these are long-term theoretical projects; and today's world has little interest for them; too busy looking to develop the next gadget. But if somebody does not ask the Big questions, then we'll just become busy ants in our own colonies. Perish the thought!
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.