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Jos Cocquyt: Flying High

Cocquyt designs small, unmanned aerial vehicles used by the military for surveillance

4 min read
Jos Cocquyt
“Fly Boy:” Jos Cocquyt made a childhood hobby his career.
Photo: Gregg Segal

“A lot of kids grow up loving airplanes, but I actually get to play with them as a grown-up—and I get paid!” That’s how Jos Cocquytsums up his work as an R&D engineer at AeroVironment Inc., in Simi Valley, Calif., the world’s leading maker of small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The U.S. military has come to rely on these portable robotic spy planes, which come equipped with Global Positioning System technology and cameras for discreetly monitoring activities many kilometers away. On any given day, you’ll find hundreds of AeroVironment UAVs circling over Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas where U.S. troops are deployed. The small planes can relay such mundane information as street and building locations, as well as more critical data, like the presence of enemy troops.

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Poll: Would You Want to Work a Shorter Week?

Weigh in with your thoughts on a four-day workweek

2 min read
Person holding a giant sized pencil standing next to a giant sized calendar with days crossed out to show a four-day workweek.
iStock

When I worked for a company in Texas a few years ago, one of the benefits I enjoyed was a four-and-a-half-day workweek. The system enabled my colleagues and me to run some personal errands, see our doctors, and pick up our kids from school, among other activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic required many companies to adopt a flexible work schedule to keep their operations open. Many allowed their employees to work from home full time. Nowadays plenty of those employers are trying to persuade their workers to return to the office full time, but they are facing some resistance.

One solution some companies are trying is a four-day, 32-hour workweek for the same pay.

​Does your company offer a four-day workweek?

Would you like to work a four-day workweek?

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Xiaomi’s Humanoid Drummer Beats Expectations

Solving drum-playing helped quest for whole-body control

3 min read
A black and white humanoid robot sits at an electronic drum kit

When Xiaomi announced its CyberOne humanoid robot a couple of months back, it wasn’t entirely clear what the company was actually going to do with the robot. Our guess was that rather than pretending that CyberOne was going to have some sort of practical purpose, Xiaomi would use it as a way of exploring possibilities with technology that may have useful applications elsewhere, but there were no explicit suggestions that there would be any actual research to come out of it. In a nice surprise, Xiaomi roboticists have taught the robot to do something that is, if not exactly useful, at least loud: to play the drums.

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FAST Labs’ Cutting-Edge R&D Gets Ideas to the Field Faster

BAE Systems’ FAST Labs engineers turn breakthrough innovations into real-life impact

1 min read

FAST Labs is an R&D organization where research teams can invent and see their work come to life.

BAE Systems

This is a sponsored article brought to you by BAE Systems.

No one sets out to put together half a puzzle. Similarly, researchers and engineers in the defense industry want to see the whole picture – seeing their innovations make it into the hands of warfighters and commercial customers.

That desire is fueling growth at BAE Systems’ FAST Labs research and development (R&D) organization.

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