Although the word drone may at first evoke an image of a stealth killing machine, the work of Mary 'Missy' Cummings proves drones are much more than that initial thought.
Cummings directs the Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University, where she builds interfaces for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and studies the social and ethical implications of technological advancement. She believes that UAVs have the potential to dramatically impact industries like agriculture and medicine as well as the commercial sector.
Cummings started researching the relationship between humans and technology after spending 10 years in the military. She was one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy, but her experience witnessing many colleagues die in preventable accidents encouraged her to devote her career to bettering and advancing our technology. Cummings recently helped a national task force develop recommendations for US Drone Policy. Host Frank Stasio talks to Cummings about her life and work.
Watch Missy Cummings on the Colbert Report in 2011:
Cummings was also featured on The Daily Show in 2013: