What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Gathering Hurricane Data Using A Swarm Of Tiny Drones

June 5, 2013, 1:10 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Kamran Mohseni and his team of researchers at the University of Florida's Institute for Networked Autonomous Systems have created a small sensor-equipped drone -- "just 6 inches long and about the weight of an iPod Nano" -- that can be launched in numbers from a remote location to collect real-time hurricane data from a variety of perspectives. The team uses mathematical models to determine the best place(s) to send the drones ahead of time, where they can then wait for the storm to arrive. Once it does, they are powered on so they can begin their fact-finding mission. "Our vehicles don't fight the hurricane; we use the hurricane to take us places," says Mohseni. 

What's the Big Idea?

Typically hurricane data is collected using free-falling sensors dropped from reconnaissance planes. Besides the fact of the sensors' spotty success, the planes are expensive to build and fly. At approximately $250 each, the drones are a much better buy, even if they are lost in a storm. Mohseni says, "We don't have anything that is super duper. We have cheap sensors, but with a lot of them you can significantly increase the accuracy of your measurements." He believes that with enough funding, the drones could be tested in a real-world scenario in about two to three years.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at ScienceDaily


Gathering Hurricane Data Us...

Newsletter: Share: