Then and Now: A changing landscape


ZaZu Lippert

The Old: Manufacturer
The New: 3D Printer

Illustration by Priya Reddy

Junior Saurav Pahadia, director of finance, and junior Ishan Mitra, manager for the MVHS Robotics Team, remember sending off the measurements and diagrams of the parts needed for many robots to their manufacturer. Now, with the addition of their own 3D printer, MVHS Robotics Team has been able to create their own parts. The team acquired the printer through the company Ekocycle, which chose a few teams in the Bay Area to give them to. Robotics team member and junior Arnav Gupta says that previously it could take weeks or months to receive a part depending on its complexity, but now it only takes a few hours to create using the printer, though it depends on the size.

Pieces of technology such as the printer make a difference in daily life. And with this comes increased efficiency but also a loss of human connection and a need for safety precautions.

“Going forward with the tech we develop, especially concerning AI, we need to be careful about how we go about it,” Pahadia said, “So we can build a safe community going forward for all people.”

The Old: A Regular Car
The New: Google Waymo

Illustration by Priya Reddy

Picture this: You’re stopped at a red light at the intersection, when you absentmindedly look over to the car next to you — only to see that the person in the driver’s seat doesn’t have their hands on the steering wheel. This is Waymo, the self-driving car produced by Google that stands for “a new way forward in mobility.” Starting in 2015, Google employees tested the project on roads in the Mountain View area. Since then, Waymo has made advances by driving the first blind passenger in Texas in October 2015. Google has continued to make leaps in test-drives for Waymo; thus far, Google engineers have developed a computerized program for recognizing and anticipating the motion of bicyclists and vehicles, as well as for reading road signs. See the diagrams below for more information.

Mitra thinks these self-driving cars could prove to be especially useful for those who are older or unable to drive. It could even be integrated, he believes, into other services.

“If you were to use a self driving [car],” Mitra said, “Then it could just go and a cashier could just load the things into the car and just bring it back to you.”

The Old: iPhone Apps
The New: Google Home

Illustration by Priya Reddy

You’ve finished all of your homework and decide to reward yourself with your favorite TV show, but you can’t find the remote. Instead of looking for it, you just turn towards a small dome on your kitchen counter. “Ok Google, turn on the living room TV set.” The screen flashes on within seconds. Google Home is a dual speaker and sound-interceptor that syncs with other home devices such as your television set, making it possible to ask the device to play a Netflix movie on another device or dim the lights in a certain room.

Gupta finds the level of control that Google Home exerts over one’s house to be slightly frightening.

“It’s kind of scary, because it’s very easily hackable,” Gupta said.

But Pahadia has a different opinion. He believes that hacks which would endanger people’s home security would be virtually impossible to complete.

“It’s Google right?” Pahadia said. “They’re going to be using high-level encryption that not an everyday hacker can crack into.”