The second of two shows highlighting the best bits from 2015. Including reports from Africa, Asia and USA on new ideas for drones, phones, and rollercoasters.
Browse content similar to 01/01/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
to tackle gun violence. Now on BBC News, Click.
This week, snow, speed, and coasters.
2015 was the year of attempt drone. Here are special compilations
brought you from Asia, Africa, Europe and the USA. We start with a
range of stories which showed just how many ways we could one day be
using drones. If you thought that they were only good for racing,
think again. Although... The aerial GP is an opportunity for
drawn in to use the as to show off the skill by piloting quad copters
across specially arranged circuits. Drones are fitted with cameras with
pilots using goggles or monitors to see where they are going. They have
to complete several circuits of this course whilst flying through the
obstacles spread around it. What could be simpler? Try flying a few
feet from the ground at 60 mph. Most people get into RC because they
want the pilot. Next thing you know you are playing top gun.
The day's racing draws to a close. Drones have been damaged, skills
have been honed, and victorious racers receive applause from the
piers. The organisers are attempting to take the drawn racers
International. -- drawn racers International.
We have seen and been used for classy photography, for a gratuitous
self these -- for gratuitous selfies, and forgetting packages
about the place. Here in the UAE they have started looking at other
uses for drones. This is called Drones For Good. This is a serious
business. You would not believe the number of issues that can be solved
with the drone. At least when there is so much money up for grabs. For
example, I did not know that fog is an issue in Dubai. Or at least it
was until a group from the University invented a drone four at.
We have a lot of accidents and disasters happening because of the
fog. Air companies and people are really getting annoyed when the
plane is diverted. Using a concept similar to cloud seeding, which
causes rain, this can carry a salty solution which it sprays over at the
fog, breaking the dew point and dispersing the mist.
One thing I did no approach du Barry was its preference for the tall and
the fabulous. With all of this high raise glass about you do need
something to keep it all clean. Bring on the flying squeegee. It has
washer, a squeegee, and we can clean up a maximum of 40 square metres. I
am nervous about flying drones close to buildings, but the sponges
protect the blades, so it is less likely to clash. Crash protection on
something been taken to an entirely new level by this team.
This is fascinating. I have never seen a drone like this before. What
is the point? If the drone colleague against the obstacles, the inside
will just a vertical. This is fantastic, this is what the strap
astronaut into to spin them around. Can you give us examples of where
you can see this being used? This drone can go anywhere for other
drones cannot go. Inside glass buildings, anywhere where there is a
lot of crashes and you cannot have perfect control of the robot.
Anywhere for you can crash of the walls. That is the point.
The pilot is flying the robot inside the house so he does not even see
the robot any more. The only uses the video link from the drone.
Collision resistant drone. They have $1 million to invest into the bright
We have thermal imaging cameras, the Santa Barbara Fire Department and
our very own fire. What else to be need to throw into the mix of the
story? How about a drone? Emergency services across the globe
are already conducting trials and pilot projects with drones. With
them all imaging cameras as small as these, the drone can be introduced
to a host of different situations. One of the things that we need to
check constantly for is, is it moving ahead, is the winter driving
the head? With a drone, we will be able to do that out ahead of the
fire. To have that kind of capacity will be invaluable.
Here at the Urban Robotics Lab, we're looking at drones that can
work in unusual places. We have never seen a drone that can claim
the walls. It is so loud! And powerful. The drone sticks to the
wall with the thrust generated. It then claims in the wall using its
wheels. It has a camera which can be used to reach difficult places, like
wind turbines, and it requires no expensive infrastructure to work.
The team says that if it falls off it can easily fly itself back on to
Wear it needs to be. -- to Weyrich needs to be. I'm going to go and
brush my here. It has been the year of the drone.
Especially for this guy. He decided to use 54 of them as order of
transport. Seriously, if he flips it upside down he could more than one
in ten seconds. We decided to go to Boston in
February and somehow Dan Simmons got a much easier red than me, not that
I'm bitter. People are looking for an alternative to the car, we need
another means of transport. This is something which could really help to
replace the car. It may not look like much, but the big red M on
the back wheel is more than just a mortar. You can think of it more
like a robot. It responds to your pedal behaviour and weaves itself
seamlessly with your motion. You do not feel like you are on an electric
vehicle, you just feel that the city has shrunk underneath you. We
measure the amount of rotational force. Also speed and position. We
had temperature sensors, sensors which measure the current of the
mortar drive and the battery. The idea is that you buy the whole
wheel, complete with tyre, so that it can fit most ordinary pushbikes.
Inside that red disc, and now, you do not get a choice of colour, and
we're close sensors and computers set. Alongside electric motor that
gives you the push. It is quite a substantial push. Just
touch the pedal and the world goes flying. The battery inside is good
for about 30 miles and it takes about four hours to charge up. If
you need extra juice while you are pedalling around then you can
backpedal and that energy from braking and go straight back into
retard battery. -- recharge the battery.
An app allows you to track your journey, share data with other users
and, importantly, change the wheel's response
from turbo to detecting if you're going uphill,
for example, before it gives you that extra shove.
Immediately, it is really bouncy, but it is like there is hardly any
It is almost like I am just on the flat.
It is the ride that can be tweaked with your app or directly improved
through firmware updates, just like your phone is.
Step outside anywhere in the city and you can see quite how many bikes
there are, so of course, keeping them safe is important.
Here we are looking at a prototype of a hi-tech docking system.
The finished device is going to be usable via any NFC connected phone.
First of all you will use your phone's GPS to find the nearest
docking station and book your spot, and then, by touching
here with your smart phone you will be able to lock
This steel bar is meant to be ten times stronger than your average
bike lock, and if anyone tries to tamper with your bike once
it is locked, you're going to get an alert on your phone,
plus the person who's tampering with it will be filmed by an HD
camera built in, so there's no escape for those bike thieves.
More transport tech later, but first, to these.
The cameras on our smart phones have become so good of late that we found
ourselves wondering if we could make an entire episode
It is Mark on camera one and two, Simon on three and four,
Jen on five, Nima on six and seven, Ben on eight, and this
We are using a real mix of smart phones, all of which can of course
shoot high-definition video, but that is just the most basic
We need these things to behave like pro cameras.
Actually, most phones will let us take them out of full auto mode,
so we can decide what part of the picture is in focus
and decide for ourselves on the exposure.
Now for those who are not fans of shaky mobile wobble vision,
this mini dolly and this battery-powered self-steadying
gimbal should keep things nice and smooth.
But for things to look pro, they also need to sound pro,
and this is where the phones really fault short.
The onboard microphones are fine for capturing the sounds
of the environment, but to make sure we are heaard over the background
we need clip-on mics that we can get closer to our mouths.
We are just testing out all the different phones
Unfortunately none of the mics we tried, including the market-
leading Rode Mic, which plugs straight into the phone,
sounds good enough us, so we are using a concoction
of cables and splitters to connect our pro radio mics
Even then, most phones will only let you listen to the audio before
and after the recording, only the iPhone lets you monitor
the sound during the filming so it will be interesting to hear
the results when you have to guess at setting the recording volume.
But the biggest pain by far was editing this monster.
It was hugely - some would say stupidly -
to film and edit the whole programme using video from so many different
sources with all of this new tech in just five days.
Pinnacle on the iPad was intuitive and simple, but as soon as we tried
using footage not shot on an Apple product, surprise, surprise,
Our main editing machines, the Microsoft Surfaces really
struggled under the weight of all that footage,
and to be honest, currently it seriously looks like we will not
If that is in fact the case, I hope you have enjoyed
Now, we do like to get about on this programme, as you know,
and in Kenya earlier this year we discovered something
which the residents of one village were getting rather excited about.
So what has attracted 3,000 people to the school hall to hear speeches
Well, it's the fact that this town will,
for the first time, have access to information that a lot
of the world has taken for granted for years.
These guys have come here today to hear about the outernet.
Outernet is an idea conjured up by this man.
It is a way of giving people in unconnected communities
access to information, without having to put down
lots of wires or use expensive data tariffs on mobile phone networks.
The first receiver is being installed in the chief's house.
When it is blinking it shows you when the signal is weak.
The box, or pillar acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot for smart phones and people
can come here and download content which they can then read later.
It looks like there is stuff going on there.
This is not full two-way internet access.
Instead, the satellite continually broadcasts small portions of the web
over and over, the bits that the team deem the most useful.
That data is received and then stored locally on these boxes.
No communication with the internet or others,
And this puts it at a disadvantage compared to the other
projects try to get poorer and remote communities online.
Google, for example, is working on a project
which is a network of high-altitude helium balloons that will boost
internet connections across much wider areas, beyond coverage
And both Facebook and Google are looking at increasing access
Crucially these projects will give people truly two-way
Anything that is related to bidirectional communications,
the internet, to be able to provide that to the entire world,
those are multibillion-dollar projects, with huge time horizons
Our solution that we are offering is instantaneous.
It is a matter of spending $1 billion and waiting ten years
In fact, he's planning to launch his own satellites,
these mini cube sats, as early as next year,
which will broadcast to these even smaller receivers which do not even
These can be placed in a pocket, this type of receiver,
Not only will we be selling, we will publish plans on how you can
If you can build on yourself from commonly available parts,
what is to prevent anyone anywhere in the world from being able
Including in countries that would not want that kind of content?
Including countries that have massive firewalls,
Including countries that have great firewalls or regularly monitor and
That is one way we can bypass those restrictions.
Now, I like to have a bit of fun on this show,
but without the risk of making myself ill.
So, we sent LJ Rich to Germany last summer to get a new take
on rollercoasters and to give her the ride of her life.
What better place to test new coaster tech than a park filled
with people who know their air time from their iversions.
I am here because one company thinks it has cracked a very difficult
You have to keep very tightly synchronised to the real ride,
so you do not approach a virtual curve before
What we are doing is, we are measuring the actual position
on the track with a special sensor, which is attached to the wheel
That flashing light near the front wheel counts the rotations and syncs
This means if the speed varies a little with each ride the program
In fact, VRcould be the key to rejuvenating old rides,
giving this 30-year-old family coaster a new lease of life.
I understand my uncle got a similar effect using different
Now, we finish our 2015 roundup in Japan, with two different types
Japan is in a hurry - to make cars differently.
So why are Japanese carmakers assembly-lining up to create
what in the past has proven to be inexpensive,
impractical, and unloved white elephant?
The answer is as much political as it is about technology.
Ahead of the 2020 Olympics here, they are thinking big.
Traditionally, hydrogen has been produced using fossil fuels,
but Japan does not have any of those, so Honda has created
Ideally produced from renewable sources, and it has designed
stations that do not just store the hydrogen,
It may take a while to produce, but the beauty of hydrogen
is its only waste product is the pure water emitted
Japan has set its sights on being the leading exporter
of these superclean cars to the rest of the world.
Toyota recently delivered the first of its new fuel-cell cars to owners
in Japan, the US, Denmark, Germany, and here in the UK.
Toyota say this is the world's first mass-produced hydrogen car,
designed from the ground up, which means they have not taken
an existing model and put a hydrogen tank in it.
They put the tanks in the back and essentially the engine
with all the chemical reactions going on between the two front
It is a little bit more heavy than a normal car, but its stats
rack up - 111 top speed, 0-62 in nine seconds or so.
But there is one statistic that may concern you.
It's a safe if slow start to Japan's water-powered revolution.
Not just any DeLorean, that would be impressive enough,
this is a DeLorean from Back To The Future.
You have got the drive circuits here, the plutonium chamber
measurements over here, this is the time bank with current
Speedometer, that has got to get to 88mph,
Marty, and back here, the all-important flux capacitor.
Right, why are we here today? Two reasons.
Firstly, all of this, and secondly, how this baby is powered.
TRANSLATION: 30 years ago, I watched Back To The Future
and I thought, yes, in 30 years, you should be able
but ten years ago I realised I had not seen it happen yet,
so I decided to start research in bio ethanol
One day, he hopes that, just like in the film,
we will be able to put rubbish and even clothes straight into cars.
For the moment, his company uses large processing plants to extract
sugar from the cotton in used clothes and turn it
I thought that was brilliant, brilliant enough to miss my flight
Never mind, I think I have found an alternative means