WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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and on your very doorstep, small packages might soon be delivered there via Amazon drones — within 30 minutes of your placing an order. Is it any surprise, then, that such an expanding technology has found its way into the college classroom? Wellesley College, through its Library and Technology Services center, with help from the Friends of the Wellesley College Library, has acquired three high-end aerial camera drones and a fleet of smaller training ones. The drones range in weight from one to ten pounds — the largest mea- suring about two feet across — and carry an in-flight battery life of about 20 minutes. They can be flown only under the supervision of an FAA- licensed pilot (in Wellesley's case, Jordan Tynes, the college's manager of scholarly innovations). It is a position that Wellesley created to integrate such emerging tools as drone technology into the curriculum. just as previous generations saw the birth of the camera, the radio, the airplane, and the computer, we, too, are witnessing an emerg- ing phenomenon that, by combining aspects of all, will similarly alter future life. It is known as "drone technology." For better or for worse, drones have already proven more than a mere curiosity, performing a multiplicity of feats in place of or beyond the scope of humans. At the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, for example, 1,200 of them flew in stunning precision to light up the night sky with a spectacle of shape-shifting athletes; in Antarctica, a drone flying a grid over the remote Danger Islands discovered a 1.5 million super-colony of Adelie penguins, previ- ously considered in decline; in Iraq, both ISIS and U.S./Coalition Forces fighting in Mosul utilized drones to drop munitions on military targets; An Exploding Technology Finds Its Wa D I A N E S P E A R E T R I A N T writer 50 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8

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