‘Already at our doorstep’: Houston heat wave drives home the inequality of climate change
Since the heat set in, Sandra Edwards has picked up her wilted tomato plant from the kitchen window sill at day’s end and taken it to her bedroom — the only one with an air conditioner.
And after she showers, Edwards runs from her bathroom to the air-conditioned room, trying not to sweat.
She stays in the room as much as she can. Wallpaper peels from the ceiling; heat seeps through the house’s taped and tarped door frames. Much of her Fifth Ward home is under construction as she recovers from Hurricane Harvey…
Scientists are teaching drones to hunt down human screams
If someone created a flying machine capable of tracking you down by listening for your voice, you might be creeped out.
But what if you were pinned under a pile of rubble after a natural disaster and first responders couldn’t locate you? Maybe then a human-seeking drone wouldn’t be such a terrible idea.
That concept is the focus for engineers at Germany’s Fraunhofer FKIE institute, who’ve built a drone prototype designed to find people by detecting human screams and listening for other signs of distress. One of the lead engineers, Macarena Varela, showcased their progress last week at an annual conference hosted by the Acoustic Society of America.
While it’s easy to imagine human-seeking drones in a sci-fi horror movie, Varela says the gadget would be ideal for post-disaster scenarios, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires. They could hover over an area that rescue crews have difficulty getting to and pinpoint where people may be trapped…