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How to Fight Crime in Real Time

New York City’s rapid data retrieval accelerates investigations

10 min read
How to Fight Crime in Real Time
RTCC: New York City’s Real Time Crime Center, at police headquarters in downtown Manhattan, enables officers to extract information from integrated databases and send it immediately to investigators in the field. Displays are tailored to the situation at hand.
Photo: Nadav Neuhaus/WPN

New York City has a population of 8.2 million, and the municipal police force of its five boroughs is the world’s largest. The police have to worry about what is going on in the entire metropolitan area, which has a population of close to 20 million, as well as all the cargo and passengers entering and leaving the city through its port. Taking into account, too, the city’s immense ethnic and linguistic complexity and the social problems of its worst-off neighborhoods, law enforcement is a megaproblem by any standards. For better and worse, New York has always been filled and refilled with people who have the talent and ambition that make the United States what it is, but who also sometimes bring with them bad habits, discredited beliefs, and unfortunate associations from their homelands.

Take, to pick some notable examples, the Russian mobs that began to infiltrate Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach neighborhood in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Chinese gangs discovered to be importing slave prostitutes into lower Manhattan, and the former Port-au-Prince torture specialists who could be lying low in the city’s burgeoning Haitian communities.

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Paying Tribute to 1997 IEEE President Charles K. Alexander

The Life Fellow was a professor at Cleveland State University

4 min read
portrait of man smiling against a light background
The Alexander Family

Charles K. Alexander, 1997 IEEE president, died on 17 October at the age of 79.

The active volunteer held many high-level positions throughout the organization, including 1991–1992 IEEE Region 2 director. He was also the 1993 vice president of the IEEE United States Activities Board (now IEEE-USA).

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Robot Learns Human Trick for Not Falling Over

Humanoid limbs are useful for more than just manipulation

3 min read
A black and white humanoid robot with a malfunctioning leg supports itself with one arm against a wall

This article is part of our exclusive IEEE Journal Watch series in partnership with IEEE Xplore.

Humanoid robots are a lot more capable than they used to be, but for most of them, falling over is still borderline catastrophic. Understandably, the focus has been on getting humanoid robots to succeed at things as opposed to getting robots to tolerate (or recover from) failing at things, but sometimes, failure is inevitable because stuff happens that’s outside your control. Earthquakes, accidentally clumsy grad students, tornadoes, deliberately malicious grad students—the list goes on.

When humans lose their balance, the go-to strategy is a highly effective one: use whatever happens to be nearby to keep from falling over. While for humans this approach is instinctive, it’s a hard problem for robots, involving perception, semantic understanding, motion planning, and careful force control, all executed under aggressive time constraints. In a paper published earlier this year in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, researchers at Inria in France show some early work getting a TALOS humanoid robot to use a nearby wall to successfully keep itself from taking a tumble.

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Accelerate the Future of Innovation

Download these free whitepapers to learn more about emerging technologies like 5G, 6G, and quantum computing

1 min read

Looking for help with technical challenges related to emerging technologies like 5G, 6G, and quantum computing?

Download these three whitepapers to help inspire and accelerate your future innovations:

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