Monday, 4 February 2013
Indian Scientists Develop ‘Snake Robots’ For Surveillance, Rescue Operations
Indian scientists have developed ‘snake robots’ that can slither through the rubble of buildings brought down by earthquakes, locate survivors and alert rescuers, hence to saving lives during disasters.
Fitted with a high-definition camera and ultrasonic sensors, snake robots are flexible enough to enter into a narrow opening and locate survivors under the rubble.
The 1.5-metre-long robot, made of aluminium, can be easily operated with a joystick and the camera fitted on its head can send images of people stuck under rubble to rescuers.
Developed by scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), Bangalore, the first prototype of these snake robots has been inducted in the Indian Army for trials.
“The idea behind a snake robot was to develop a device that can make rescue operations easy during disasters and calamities,” Sartaj Singh, the CAIR scientist who developed the robot, said.
“It can go to locations where it is difficult for rescuers to reach. It can send pictures and videos of survivors and thus help in saving the lives of people without delay,” said Singh.
The robot that looks like a snake has attracted attention at various exhibitions in India and abroad since last year. It was also exhibited at the Indian Science Congress in Kalkata in January.
“During any disaster, it is the initial hours which matter when it comes to saving lives of people. Usually a delay occurs in clearing the debris but with a snake robot we can follow a targeted approach and locate survivors fast,” said Singh.
Scientists said the robot can also be used by defence and paramilitary forces for pipe inspection to locate explosives in narrow tunnels in militancy — and naxal-affected areas in the country.
CAIR focuses on developing robotics technologies and systems to cater to the needs of the Indian armed forces while providing spin-off benefits to industrial, educational, medical and other civilian sectors.
The centre is also developing other robots — used for surveillance — for the defence forces, scientists said.
Some of the specialised mobile robots include gadgets that can walk on rough terrain or climb the wall and walk on the ground. They can fly too.
All of them are fitted with cameras that can take images and videos during surveillance.
“The army is trying out the snake robot. Once they give the report that the gadget is useful to them, we will start production according to the demand,” Singh added. [IANS]
Okada Replacement? Lagos Moves to Introduce Cable Cars for Mass Transportation
In what looks likes the Lagos State government’s arrangement towards getting a replacement for the commercial motorcycle transport system (popularly called Okada), a cable car company, Ropeways Transport Limited, is set to launch a cable car mass urban transit system in the nation’s commercial capital.
This is as a result of the signing of a 30-year Franchise Agreement by Ropeways Transport Limited, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and the Lagos State Government recently.
According to the Tribune, which reported the story, under the terms of the agreement, Ropeways Transport will this November begin the construction of towers, stations and connecting network cables along various routes covered in the first phase of the project, namely, Ijora–Iddo, Iddo–Adeniji, Apapa–Oluwole, Oluwole–Adeniji, Adeniji–Obalende, Obalende–Falomo, and Falomo–Victoria Island, just as the project is expected to be fully completed and commissioned by early 2015.
No BIS On BlackBerry 10
BlackBerry (BBRY) announced at yesterday’s launch that the new smartphones based on the BB10 platform will not support the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).
It became apparent as Rory O’Neill, Vice President of Product & Channel Marketing at BlackBerry, was answering questions related to the BIS service on the BB10 phones and on BB 7 based smartphones.
O’Neill explained that the BB10 smartphones will not come bundled with BIS nor support it. The only service to run on BlackBerry’s infrastructure will be BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and some enterprise related applications.
O’Neill said: “The R59 per month unlimited data for BlackBerry 7 is a proposition that we really believe in. We work very closely with our mobile network partners to keep that proposition in market.
“We’re continuing to innovate BlackBerry 7 and for the segment of the market where social messaging and that experience is really important, we will continue to have, and we will continue to build out new experiences both from a hardware and software perspective.”
Three Student Union Leaders Die in Ghastly Car Crash
The Presidents of the Student Unions of the Federal University of Technology, Akure Dapo Awopegba; Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo Abiodun Akintola and Ondo State School of Midwifery lost their lives in a lone car accident along the Owo-Akure Road.
The spokesman for the Ondo state police command, Aremu Adeniran said the auto accident occurred at Emure Ile junction on the expressway on Friday night around 8p.m, according to.
Mr. Adeniran added the accident occurred as a result of over-speeding.
Reports say the Union leaders were on their way back to their various institutions from Abuja, where they had gone to witness the presentation of an award to the Ondo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, and some other eminent Nigerians by the National Association of Nigerian Students.
They were travelling in a bus donated to the Joint Campus Committee by the state government recently.
Others who sustained injuries are receiving treatment at the Federal Medical centre, Owo.
Policeman Kills Colleague At A Bar In Ondo
A policeman in Ondo state has shot dead his close friend and colleague over a beer parlour argument.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kazeem Shehu, attached to the Ajagba Divisional Police Station in Ajagba town, Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State eyewitnesses say shot his friend, a policeman attached to Yaba Divisional Police Station after an argument ensued between the two at a relaxation centre at Ejankole Street in Okerowo area, Ondo town at the weekend. The argument became hot, but all effort by others at the relaxation centre to call them to order was rebuffed.
It was gathered that after the hot argument, Shehu reportedly drew out a pistol which was hidden in his pocket and shot his friend at a close range.
The sound of the gunshot attracted others in the relaxation centre who rushed the victim to the state Specialist Hospital in Ondo town.
The suspect in an attempt to flee from the area was apprehended by those present at the relaxation joint, after he found out he might have killed his friend.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command Wole Ogodo confirmed the killing.
Ogodo said the suspect was in detention, and pointed out that investigation into incident was ongoing, adding that the suspect would face the full wrath of the law after investigation into the incident.
The corpse of the slain policeman had since been deposited at the morgue of the Ondo State Specialist Hospital.
How Wizkid & Banky Turned Against Each Other
The split between Banky W and Wizkid, inside sources say, resulted from an alleged high difference in what Banky W gets from revenues made by the young star, Wizkid.
The ‘injustice’, according to what TON gathered, has been bothering Wizkid until he summoned the courage to ask for an improved contract from Banky W, which hit him (Banky) by surprise.
“You know Wizkid is the backbone of EME music label. The boy (Wizkid) feels that Banky W has been milking too much from him with the large chunk of what Banky W takes from what the boy makes.
“Wizkid has asked for an improved contract because the present one allocates much of Wizkid’s earnings to Banky W. You know when you are coming up, you sign any kind of deal because you just want to climb stardom.