The March Of Technology

INT21

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In the opening scene in the book 'Gold Coast' four friends are sitting in a fully automatic car observing the blue lights and the emergency services sorting out a multi car crash.

'SIS' says one.

'Yes, his friend agrees. 'Something In the Silicon'.

Krepostnoi,

...If I could sit back and get an extra hour's sleep or read a book on my commute, rather than having to pilot my vehicle - yes, please...

And you will sleep knowing you have no control over the situation whatsoever ?

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PeteByrdie

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People already do that on bus journeys.
A timely episode of Fully Charged from Robert Llewellyn. The Intellibus from about 1.25 into the episode (although the tomatoes at the start are interesting too).

 

rynner2

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This is how technology to partly fuel vehicles on water could tackle Cornwall's pollution problem
By HannahCL | Posted: February 28, 2017

New technology that will see vehicles partly fueled by water will be trialled in Cornwall in a bid to improve air quality after it was reported that residents may be forced to sell their homes in pollution hotspots.
Innovative new 'autonomous electrolysers' will be fitted to a number of vehicles in Cornwall as part of a new trial project to reduce emissions and improve air quality as the council continues to battle pollution problems.

The electrolysers created by Water Fuel Engineering Ltd, work by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, using the hydrogen as fuel alongside fossil fuels to help reduce emissions.
The electrolysers need to be used alongside conventional fuels such as diesel or petrol, so although you can't count on running your car on tap water any time soon the pioneering new technology means we are one step closer to it becoming a reality in the future.

Cornwall Council has secured a grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) of £236,650 to trial the new technology.
A total of ten vehicles from Cornwall Council and CORMAC including road sweepers, tippers, vans and lorry mounted cranes will be fitted with the electrolysers.

Phil Davies, Water Fuel Engineering's marketing director, said: "We're delighted to have the opportunity to work with Cornwall Council on this ambitious and pioneering project.
"Poor air quality is a concern in the UK and reducing or eliminating the emissions from essential utility vehicles is the driving force behind our HydroGen electrolysers."

Last month the council were focused on a Clean Air for Cornwall Strategy policy to look at various ways of dealing with pollution with some drastic suggestions including compulsory purchase of homes in the worse affected areas, although this would have to be subject to further talks.
At the time, Cornwall Council said: "Although the air in Cornwall is generally very clean, a few areas have poorer air quality mainly due to road traffic."
It is now hoped that the trial will see electrolysers reduce emissions of nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and carbon, and emissions of the vehicles will be monitored throughout the trial.

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council's portfolio holder for communities, said: "This grant funded trial is excellent news for Cornwall. Nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter play a role in many of the UK's health challenges, so anything that helps to reduce these pollutants is very welcome.
"If the trial is successful, this technology has the potential to be widely used to convert cars and lorries and reduce emissions from many of the older vehicles on our roads, which could make a big difference to air quality in Cornwall's seven Air Quality Management Areas."

http://www.cornwalllive.com/this-is...-air-quality/story-30165787-detail/story.html
 

INT21

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...The electrolysers created by Water Fuel Engineering Ltd, work by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, using the hydrogen as fuel alongside fossil fuels to help reduce emissions...

Anyone, like myself, who has spent time studying and experimenting with electrolysis will know that this isn't so straight forward as this article makes it sound.

Producing hydrogen and oxygen from water is quite simple.

producing enough of it to be feasible is something else.

Also it seems they are going to dump the oxygen and only use the hydrogen.

I dabbled in the hydroxy idea. That uses the combined gas' as produced.

This gas is highly explosive. Burns VERY fast. It isn't safe to store it. You really do have to produce it as you need it.

All kinds of complications are involved.

It's a fascinating subject. But beware snake oil merchants.

I still have a largish unit. But as I run Diesel engined cars, occasionally running on home brew bio Diesel It would only be of academic interest to me now.

But the ides is still appealing.

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Anonymous-50446

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But beware snake oil merchants.
That was my impression of the whole article. It feels like a pitch for funding to un-technical types for an idea which will never quite work, but will pay handsomely while it's not being developed.
 

rynner2

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That was my impression of the whole article. It feels like a pitch for funding to un-technical types for an idea which will never quite work, but will pay handsomely while it's not being developed.
Read it again. The funding is already in place, and now they are just testing the idea in real vehicles in working conditions.

The grant comes from Defra, and I don't expect Cornwall to be the only place where this testing is going on, it's just that local papers report local news, innit!?
 

Anonymous-50446

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Read it again. The funding is already in place, and now they are just testing the idea in real vehicles in working conditions.
OK. So I read it again and I find that the trials seem to use a 'box' which generates hydrogen for mixing with existing fuel. Simple electrolysis of water into oxygen and hydrogen is not a new thing. Typically the efficiency of splitting hydrogen from water and then recombining it as fuel for power generation is around 25%.

So if the hydrogen is being produced by using electricity from the vehicles themselves it's likely wildly inefficient. I'd speculate that the (claimed) emissions clean-up gained will be offset by the necessity to burn extra fuel to generate the power to split the water into hydrogen.

I see nothing in this article that explains how it works, how it actually improves performance overall or really reduces emissions. They make claims for emission reduction and reduced fuel use, I see no test figures. The system diagram is indistinguishable from any HHO scam product. The FAQ is cleverly imprecise.

I stand by my previous comment, other than they have already got the cash.

When I see independently verified tests of economy and emission improvement, I'll change my mind.
 

rynner2

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OK. So I read it again and I find that the trials seem to use a 'box' which generates hydrogen for mixing with existing fuel. Simple electrolysis of water into oxygen and hydrogen is not a new thing. Typically the efficiency of splitting hydrogen from water and then recombining it as fuel for power generation is around 25%.
Well, stop relying on a local press report and do some research on the company carrying out the trials. :p
 

Anonymous-50446

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Well, stop relying on a local press report and do some research on the company carrying out the trials. :p
Did some research on the company itself...my answer was based on that.

Given that a few hours on an MOT test station rolling road would categorically prove it's worth in respect of emissions and fuel economy (or not) it's odd to find no such data on their website. Some might say.
 

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Britain's first commercial wind farm at Delabole celebrates 25 years powering homes in Cornwall
By CGMikeS | Posted: March 24, 2017



The 25th birthday of Britain's first commercial wind farm at Delabole has been marked with a huge card signed by over a thousand people from across the country.

The wind farm was commissioned by local farmer Peter Edwards and began generating power in December 1991, making it the first commercial venture of its kind in the UK. Since 2002 it has been owned by Wiltshire based firm Good Energy.

The card, organised by climate change charity 10:10, has been signed by people from Orkney through to the Isles of Scilly who wish to thank the pioneering wind farm for 25 years of clean power.
Cecily Spelling, campaign manager at 10:10, admitted she felt "a bit silly" when carrying the huge card on the tube in London and then down to Cornwall on the train.
"But the story of Delabole wind farm has touched so many people around the UK," she said. "We just wanted to share all the love for wind turbines.
"For people up and down the country wind turbines offer a glimmer of hope for a cleaner, greener future and that all started right here 25 years ago with Delabole wind farm.
"It really is a myth that people don't like wind turbines. Our polling shows 73% of the British public back onshore wind power."
Peter Edwards, who first developed the wind farm in 1991 and is known as the grandfather of Britain's wind industry, said: After the wind farm started generating in 1991, one of the main criticisms was that the amount we contributed to the National Grid was so insignificant that we shouldn't have bothered.
"That's why it's so satisfying to see just how far wind energy has come and how it now competes with nuclear. As Bob Dylan once wrote 'The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind'."

etc...

http://www.cornwalllive.com/britain...th-huge-card/story-30226188-detail/story.html

Is it really only 25 years since wind power took off? It's a major industry now, both onshore and offshore, and seems to have been around for a long time.
I suppose as an old sailor, I've always been aware of wind power, and I had a wind generator on a boat I lived on in the 80s. Seems I was ahead of the curve (or whatever the expression is!) :D :p
 

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Planes will be made from wonder material graphene 'in 10 years'
James Quinn, in Seattle
28 March 2017 • 12:00pm

Sir Richard Branson has raised the prospect of planes being made entirely from the so-called wonder material graphene within 10 years, as the airline industry battles a 50pc increase in fuel in the last 12 months, sparking a desperate need for ever lighter fleets.

The Virgin Atlantic president, who founded the airline in 1984, described the super-lightweight material as a 'breakthrough technology', which he said could help revolutionise the airline industry and transform its cost base.

Speaking in Seattle, where the British airline has just begun flying on a daily basis for the first time, Sir Richard said: "Graphene is even lighter [than carbon fibre], many times lighter and many times stronger.
"Hopefully graphene can be the planes of the future, if you go 10 years down the line. They would be massively lighter than the current planes, which again would make a difference on fuel burn."

Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms forming a regular hexagonal pattern, and is extracted from graphite. It has a litany of uses and is said to be as light as a feather yet stronger than steel.

The entrepreneur likened the push for graphene planes to his previous encouragement of Airbus and Boeing to make planes from carbon fibre, a battle he eventually won. Boeing's latest 787 Dreamliner planes, which Virgin is flying on the London Heathrow-Seattle route, are made from 50pc carbon fibre and other composite materials, as opposed to the traditional 100pc aluminium. As a result, they use 30pc less fuel than a standard alternative.

Sir Richard said the airline was still committed to reducing its carbon footprint through using cleaner fuels.
Virgin Atlantic is working with US-based clean fuels specialist Lanzatech on a biological process to convert carbon waste from manufacturing processes into ethanol, which in turn can be converted into jet fuel.
Although the product has yet to be scaled, Virgin bosses are hopeful it could revolutionise the way the fleet consumes fuel.

"If you take all the steel plants and all the aluminium plants around the world and take all the s*** that goes up the chimneys, and then you turn that into jet aviation fuel, something like 30-40pc could be powered that way," he went on.
"The question is: are they going to be able to scale it up enough to really make a difference?"

etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/03/28/planes-will-made-wonder-material-graphene-10-years/
 

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Converting CO2 into graphene, carbon nanotube and other carbon allotropes, and into fuel, is hopefully the best way to turn a disaster into a benefit. In fact I can foresee a time when the industrial use of CO2 is so commonplace that there will be a CO2 shortage.

However I would be extremely (and pleasantly) surprised if we can manufacture graphene in commercial quantities at all 'ten years down the line'. This sort of thing is at least 50 years way as far as I can see,
 

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Graphene-based sieve turns seawater into drinking water
By Paul Rincon Science editor, BBC News website
3 April 2017

A UK-based team of researchers has created a graphene-based sieve capable of removing salt from seawater.
The sought-after development could aid the millions of people without ready access to clean drinking water.
The promising graphene oxide sieve could be highly efficient at filtering salts, and will now be tested against existing desalination membranes.

It has previously been difficult to manufacture graphene-based barriers on an industrial scale.
Reporting their results in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists from the University of Manchester, led by Dr Rahul Nair, show how they solved some of the challenges by using a chemical derivative called graphene oxide.

Isolated and characterised by a University of Manchester-led team in 2004, graphene comprises a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Its unusual properties, such as extraordinary tensile strength and electrical conductivity, have earmarked it as one of the most promising materials for future applications.
But it has been difficult to produce large quantities of single-layer graphene using existing methods, such as chemical vapour deposition (CVD). Current production routes are also quite costly.

On the other hand, said Dr Nair, "graphene oxide can be produced by simple oxidation in the lab".
He told BBC News: "As an ink or solution, we can compose it on a substrate or porous material. Then we can use it as a membrane.
"In terms of scalability and the cost of the material, graphene oxide has a potential advantage over single-layered graphene."

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39482342
 

rynner2

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Track days. The occasions when I have actively enjoyed driving a car comprise a fairly small proportion of the occasions I have driven a car. The smile factor is much bigger when it comes to riding a motorbike, but I have had my share of gritting my teeth through bad weather, or inching along in the heat, humidity and motorbike jams in Ho Chi Minh City rush hour. If I could sit back and get an extra hour's sleep or read a book on my commute, rather than having to pilot my vehicle - yes, please.
Driverless shuttle bus to be tested by public in London
By Daniel Thomas Technology reporter

Members of the British public are getting their first extended trial of a driverless shuttle bus.
Over the next three weeks, about 100 people will travel in a prototype shuttle on a route in Greenwich, London.
The vehicle, which travels up to 10mph (16.1kmph), will be controlled by a computer.
However, there will be a trained person on board who can stop the shuttle if required.

Oxbotica, the firm that developed the shuttle, said 5,000 members of the public had applied to take part in the study.
"Very few people have experienced an autonomous vehicle, so this about letting people see one in person," chief executive Graeme Smith told the BBC.
"We hope to gain acceptance from members of the public for vehicles sharing this kind of space with them.
"We are also looking at how people in the vehicle respond when being transported from A to B."

The shuttle seats four people and has no steering wheel or brake pedal.
During the trial, five cameras and three lasers will help it navigate a two-mile riverside path near London's O2 Arena, an area also used by pedestrians and cyclists.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39495915
 

INT21

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It all seems rather pointless to me.

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rynner2

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It all seems rather pointless to me.

INT21
Babies are pretty pointless too. They can't walk, talk or feed themselves. But the experience of thousands of generations suggests that most of them will acquire those and other abilities.

With robotics, we are practically working with the first generation, and we're still learning about their abilities, and how to develop them. This shuttle bus is a prototype...
 

INT21

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But we are hundreds of thousands of times smarter than a computer.
Even HAL9000 couldn't make the connections.
It assumed from logic that it was going to be 'killed off', So never worked out that it could be turned on again.

Technology for it's own sake is ok when peoples lives are not put at risk.

To take the example of this bus. it will have someone riding shotgun in case it goofs up. But I predict that by the time the human can take control, the damage will be done.

And how well will these systems cope with things like snow covering the sensors ?

There is no comparison between a plane homing in through fog right down to the runway and a dozen cars charging along at 70 miles per hour a few feet apart on a wet night.

...With robotics, we are practically working with the first generation...

This isn't robotics, it's AI. A whole different game.

You have to trust your fellow man sometimes.

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London to Sydney non-stop flights 'real possibility' within five years, says Qantas
Reuters
6 April 2017 • 3:47am

Both Airbus and Boeing now offer aircraft that appear capable of flying non-stop commercial flights from Sydney to London - the "Holy Grail" for Australian carrier Qantas Airways.
As long as oil prices don't go much higher than around £42 per barrel, the 20-hour flight can be financially viable, and could be on schedules within five years, aviation experts say.

Airbus has increased the range of its A350-900ULR to 9,700 nautical miles (17,960 kms) from the 8,700 nautical miles announced when it sold the plane to Singapore Airlines in 2015 for delivery next year, a spokesman told Reuters. Including headwinds, the Sydney-London flight is equivalent to 9,600 nautical miles.

"These aircraft, we think, are potentially real goers on these routes," Alan Joyce, Qantas's CEO, told Reuters of the A350-900ULR and the bigger but less advanced Boeing 777-8. "You know from what they have done on other aircraft that Sydney-London and Melbourne-London has real possibility."

For Qantas, a non-stop Sydney-London route that cuts three hours off the flight time would allow it to charge a premium and differentiate its product from the around two dozen other airlines plying the so-called Kangaroo route with stop-offs in Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong.

The route accounts for only 13 percent of Qantas' international capacity, but carries the prestige QF1 flight number and is important to its global brand.
Qantas could charge around a 20 percent price premium for a non-stop Sydney-London flight as it would attract business and premium leisure travellers wanting to complete the trip as fast as possible, said Rico Merkert, a professor specialising in transport at the University of Sydney's business school.
"It's something that can be presented as a unique selling point for Qantas," he said.

etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...on-stop-flights-real-possibility-within-five/
 

INT21

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..Babies are pretty pointless too..

But the most powerful computer ever created by unskilled labour.

However, the way a lot of them turn out is a good case for replacing at least part of the brain with an Eprom.

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Ocean tech: Robot sea snakes and shoal-swimming subs
By Zoe Kleinman Technology reporter, BBC News
11 April 2017

In the near future, ocean search-and-repair specialists won't need arms or legs, according to one vision.
In fact, they are destined to be much more slithery.
"We try to get people to move away from the word snake because it's seen as kind of scary but even I find myself all the time calling it a snake," says Richard Mills from marine tech firm Kongsberg.

If the idea of a swimming robot snake doesn't appeal, you might want to skip the next few paragraphs.
I first mentioned Eelume to a friend who asked me whether I would be allowed to have a swim with it.
I was secretly relieved that the answer was no.

What started as a university robotics research project in Norway 10 years ago, has become a commercial prototype - and it is unavoidably snake-like.
It's designed to inspect structures on the sea bed and carry out repairs, and is currently being tested on oil rigs.

The flexible, self-propelling, tubular device has a camera at each end and is kitted out with sensors.
Because it has a modular design, its parts can be switched to suit different tasks, with swappable tools including a grabber and cleaning brush.

The design allows the robot to work in confined spaces that might be inaccessible to other vehicles, as well as to wriggle its body to stay in place in strong currents.
And because it is designed to connect itself to a seabed dock when not in use, it can be deployed at any time whatever the surface conditions.
It isn't yet on the market, but was recently on show at the Southampton's Ocean Business trade fair.
...

Self-driving boats
Just as driverless cars are causing excitement on land, autonomous boats are also making a splash.
"Unmanned systems allow you to focus on the data," said Dan Hook from UK firm ASV Global, which was also at the Southampton expo.
"You stay on board your ship in a warm, dry location, you can focus on the data and where to send the unmanned system next."

The firm's two autonomous vessels - which can also be operated via remote control - currently run on diesel generators rather than battery power.
"We're seeing increasing regulation on the types of engines we can use - it's a good thing to force you into the cleaner engines," he said.
"They are quieter and more efficient... but the future is electric, we're seeing it in cars, it's happening in our industry as well."

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39496255
 

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Film Archiving on DNA.

More on the technology here.

"Converting movies into man-made DNA brings huge advantages, said Bolot, who points out that the archives of every Hollywood studio, currently taking up square kilometers of floor space, could fit into a Lego brick.

"Another problem overcome by DNA storage is that the format for reading it doesn't become obsolete every decade or so, unlike celluloid, VHS, DVD and every other medium in the history of filmmaking."

The technology works already, we are told. The cost of converting archives into DNA may or may not make it viable.

Meanwhile, purists will point out that this is digital data, fixing our photochemical history for eternity at current analogue-digital conversion levels.

Meanwhile, those little bottles are a splendid advertisement for the Technicolor Corporation! :clap:
 
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