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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payload. But surprises are built into the exercise. Unexpectedly, the students learn of an infant in the same locale who is also experienc- ing cardiac distress. On the spot, they must decide which patient to approach first, while taking into account time restraints, the drone's capability to reach one versus the other successfully, and any recalcu- lation of its flight trajectory. "I learned how difficult it can be to respond to a rapidly changing situation," says Annie Schnitzer, a student in the 14-member class. "Each command we received to move in one direction or another depended on continuous new information. Although this was only a game, it compelled me to reflect on how complicated drone use can be, espe- cially in a situation where lives are at stake." and co-director of Wellesley's Peace & Justice Studies Program, an inter- disciplinary department that contemplates violence in the world and devises strategies to better human relations. In her classes, Confortini explores the social justice questions surrounding various technologies, while a co-professor concentrates on the engineering aspects. "When we thought about drones," Confortini says, "We thought about how they can be used for military purposes — but for other pur- poses as well, such as delivering emergency supplies to areas that are not reachable. So we did actual hands-on exercises with the students — with Jordan Tynes as our reference person — to help them think through the ethical questions that are involved in using drones." In one exercise, a team of students is instructed to deliver a mock- defibrillator to aid a man suffering a heart attack in a remote area. Team members, or "spotters," surveying the field give directions to Pilot Tynes through walkie-talk- ies, indicating how to fly the drone to best deliver the left: Wellesley College students receive instruction on drone exercises; right: Jordan Tynes pilots a drone on the Wellesley College campus; background: A drone flies over the Wellesley College campus as part of a class exercise. P H O T O S B Y D I A N E S P E A R E T R I A N T 56 Drones Over Wellesley 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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