26/03/2016 Click


26/03/2016

In a drone special the team race drones and then take them down with the help of an eagle. Plus learning how to program a BBC Microbit.


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Transcript


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This week: Superfast, super furious at Dubai's world drone pre-.

:00:08.:00:15.

Hydrogen keeping them up, and Eagles taking them down. -- world drone of

:00:16.:00:22.

prix. Drones, drones, drones, a thing of

:00:23.:00:49.

constant fascination and innovation. So much so, that last year, the

:00:50.:00:55.

government of the United Arab Emirates held a contest called

:00:56.:00:58.

jointly good with a massive $1 million prize up for grabs -- drones

:00:59.:01:04.

for good. Teams run the world were invited to compete to demonstrate

:01:05.:01:07.

how their unmanned aerial vehicles could improve people's lives. We saw

:01:08.:01:12.

everything from frog dissipation to window cleaning. -- fog. Not content

:01:13.:01:18.

with feisty's event, to buy is aiming to once again be the centre

:01:19.:01:24.

of drone innovation. We have been back to the UAE to meet the pilots

:01:25.:01:29.

said to turn drone racing professional and establish

:01:30.:01:30.

themselves as world champions. Pilots, starch or rotors. 32 of the

:01:31.:01:44.

best drone pilots from across the globe have gathered here in Dubai

:01:45.:01:50.

for the very first World Drone Prix. At stake, a huge prize pot of $1

:01:51.:01:56.

million. With the first prize a $250,000 for the fastest team. For

:01:57.:02:04.

pilots will fly at the same time, and it will be a knockout type of

:02:05.:02:09.

tournament style. They will be racing custom quad copters around

:02:10.:02:15.

this specially constructed circuit. The pallets must complete 12 laps of

:02:16.:02:20.

the track, nicking at least one pitstop per race to swap batteries

:02:21.:02:27.

-- making. We are in the crew area, backstage if you like, at the World

:02:28.:02:31.

Drone Prix. We will meet some of the teams. This is the Dutch team. Hi,

:02:32.:02:36.

guys. Last year we were just flying in a field and now we are here with

:02:37.:02:43.

the 20 32 in the world. The competition has come in to help

:02:44.:02:50.

these guys set up their rig. This is a drone racing team at work,

:02:51.:02:53.

relaxing just before the races. Is this the pit crew technician doing

:02:54.:02:58.

all of the hardware? Soldering, rewiring things. Those soldering

:02:59.:03:05.

irons will be kept busy because the drones themselves are fitted with a

:03:06.:03:08.

host of electronics including GPS tracking and forward facing cameras.

:03:09.:03:12.

This is where the pilots sit. They will be wearing first person view

:03:13.:03:17.

goggles showing them exactly what the drone itself can see. The palate

:03:18.:03:25.

is assisted by a navigator, who tell them about anything on the track the

:03:26.:03:29.

pilot will not be able to see. -- pilot. This is the team manager. I'm

:03:30.:03:36.

on the team doing a very important thing. You plug it in and replace

:03:37.:03:40.

the battery, and put it back in. If I screw up with this simple task,

:03:41.:03:47.

this is the only job you have, you out of the race, disqualified. The

:03:48.:03:52.

drones will be racing along the circuit. It is the first of its kind

:03:53.:03:58.

constructed anywhere in the world. It is almost 600 metres long, it has

:03:59.:04:04.

the capability to change shape. Some of the track's spines can

:04:05.:04:10.

mechanically move. They won't do that you're in racing as that would

:04:11.:04:13.

make a difficult track most impossible to complete. -- during

:04:14.:04:18.

racing. You have advised the guys on what the track should be like, the

:04:19.:04:22.

circuit itself. What sort of things did you tell them would be a good

:04:23.:04:27.

idea to introduce to the track was like in the previous races we have

:04:28.:04:30.

done, we have only done to the tracks. Now we wanted to introduce

:04:31.:04:36.

elevation, jetted off the ground so it truly be an aerial sport. That

:04:37.:04:41.

tower over there, they will have to go up and over, and it becomes more

:04:42.:04:47.

like a rollercoaster. The lights on the drones make it much easier to

:04:48.:04:52.

follow. The whole thing reminds me of the Tron movies Elizabeth. Before

:04:53.:04:58.

the pilots are let loose, they have to compete in two days of qualifying

:04:59.:05:07.

heats taking place indoors. -- Tron movies a little bit. One little

:05:08.:05:12.

thing goes wrong, and incident, you are out. Success in those heats,

:05:13.:05:17.

they graduate to the big show, the outdoor circuit, where their

:05:18.:05:21.

practice results dictate their starting position. What you think is

:05:22.:05:30.

showing through? I think it is the young kids. With car racing there is

:05:31.:05:35.

a barrier to racing in terms of age, but that doesn't really exist

:05:36.:05:40.

with this kind of racing? You can be ten or seven years old as long as

:05:41.:05:43.

you have the skills and the control. You can also be in a

:05:44.:05:48.

wheelchair and still compete. It doesn't matter. Qualifying is over

:05:49.:05:55.

and the British favourite sales through. He is joined by the team to

:05:56.:05:59.

watch out for, the Dutch, as well as the cool as ice Russians -- sales

:06:00.:06:03.

through. As fast as these things are, keeping

:06:04.:06:12.

them up in the air for any length of time is a problem. Pilots can get

:06:13.:06:18.

through 40 batteries in a day. You generally only get 15 or 20 minutes

:06:19.:06:22.

life out of each one. But a UK company is now working on a way of

:06:23.:06:25.

increasing flight time from minutes to hours, and we have had an

:06:26.:06:28.

exclusive look at the first fleet. I have been flying drones for a few

:06:29.:06:39.

years now on ago Matt, and even managed to crash one. Behind the

:06:40.:06:43.

scenes, we are always aware of how little time we have to get the

:06:44.:06:48.

perfect shot before we run out of batteries -- years now on

:06:49.:06:54.

programmer. Now they could be a solution to increase my time.

:06:55.:07:00.

Intelligent energy in Loughborough have been experimenting with

:07:01.:07:04.

hydrogen fuel technology. We have been giving exclusive access to

:07:05.:07:10.

their flight tests. This is the first time we have been flying them

:07:11.:07:15.

with a hydrogen fuel cell. It is a joint they have modified. The fuel

:07:16.:07:22.

cell and fuel weighs about 1.6 g. It can flight for up to two hours on

:07:23.:07:26.

one fuel cell, about six times longer than the average with a

:07:27.:07:30.

normal battery. Refuelling with compressed hydrogen is faster too,

:07:31.:07:34.

taking just a few minutes, compared with three charging a battery.

:07:35.:07:39.

Intelligent energy have been testing hydrogen fuel cell technology here

:07:40.:07:44.

since 2001, but are focused on drone flights for the last 18 months. Tell

:07:45.:07:47.

us how this works. This is the fuel tank. This is where the hydrogen is.

:07:48.:07:53.

These two on top at the fuel cells, and we have a fan that takes a small

:07:54.:07:59.

amount of heat, but also holds the airflow. You combine hydrogen with

:08:00.:08:03.

oxygen from the air blowing through this fence, and it produces

:08:04.:08:08.

electricity. While hydrogen is the most abundant element in the

:08:09.:08:11.

universe, on Earth, it is mostly used in heavy industry, which is

:08:12.:08:15.

where this company sees the drones being most useful. Straightaway in

:08:16.:08:19.

the industrial industry, we're looking at agriculture, well and

:08:20.:08:23.

gas, mapping forestry, and any other industry that needs drones for

:08:24.:08:28.

inspection or otherwise -- wheel and gas. We will get into the consumer

:08:29.:08:32.

space, but initially our target market is the commercial market. It

:08:33.:08:42.

reduces costs considerably. The company expects to have the fuel

:08:43.:08:45.

cells ready for commercial use in the next year but will have to wait

:08:46.:08:47.

longer for a consumer version. It was bad news this week for the UK

:08:48.:08:55.

gaming industry as Sony announced the closure of Revolution studio is.

:08:56.:09:01.

It was perhaps best known for its work on the PlayStation title drive

:09:02.:09:06.

club. It was also the week that Apple and the FBI was supposed to

:09:07.:09:10.

meet in court for a hearing over the battle to unlock the phone of San

:09:11.:09:17.

Bernardino gunmen. However the case took an unexpected turn when the FBI

:09:18.:09:21.

announced it may have found a way to unlock the phone without the help of

:09:22.:09:26.

Apple. It was not all legal battles for the tech giant, as they launched

:09:27.:09:31.

a new phone, iPad and a series of watch straps. But the most

:09:32.:09:36.

interesting thing about their press conference was a recycling robot

:09:37.:09:41.

named Liam. There was also the week that Twitter turned ten, John

:09:42.:09:46.

Hopkins showed off a drone they can live underwater for months, and an

:09:47.:09:49.

artificially intelligent dear wondering around the world of grand

:09:50.:09:54.

theft auto became an art installation, and then an Internet

:09:55.:09:59.

sensation. But perhaps the most intriguing bit of tech this week

:10:00.:10:05.

came from Stanford University, where the team have built software that

:10:06.:10:09.

allows you to create real-time facial re-enactments, meaning you

:10:10.:10:13.

can effectively map your worlds and expressions on to somebody else's

:10:14.:10:17.

face. Getting them to say anything you want. -- your words.

:10:18.:10:26.

Today, I've gone back to school. I'm learning to programme the new chip

:10:27.:10:33.

on the block. The data is going from the computer into the Microbit. This

:10:34.:10:38.

week, the BBC has finally unleashed the Microbit. Announced last July,

:10:39.:10:42.

the tiny programmable computer is being given free to a million

:10:43.:10:47.

schoolkids in the UK in the hope it will inspire a new generation of

:10:48.:10:51.

programmers. As wild as your imagination. In just a few minutes,

:10:52.:10:55.

it is possible to learn to create short programmes that anything into

:10:56.:10:59.

a name badge, Robo racer, or a spacecraft! We're learning how to

:11:00.:11:05.

turn the Microbit into a dice so when you shake it you get a random

:11:06.:11:11.

number between one and six. Problem is, it is currently giving a number

:11:12.:11:15.

between zero and six. But everyone is trying to solve that problem. Get

:11:16.:11:20.

rid of that pesky zero. Type dice in there. The Microbit is not a fully

:11:21.:11:26.

fledged computer, like a raspberry pipe. It is more like an

:11:27.:11:33.

introduction to the idea of programming, a much more simple

:11:34.:11:39.

affair -- pi. It has a Bluetooth connection and electronic connectors

:11:40.:11:42.

that Atlantic control other devices. But even if it is not directly

:11:43.:11:47.

competing with other budget computers, the Microbit has arrived

:11:48.:11:51.

later than promised, which may make it difficult to incorporate into

:11:52.:11:53.

lesson plans for the remainder of the school year. It is using

:11:54.:11:59.

everything I've learnt at school except it is opening me to more

:12:00.:12:05.

opportunities such as allowing me to use LED on the Microbit. Because it

:12:06.:12:10.

is small, you can take it anywhere with you as well. Excellent. Thank

:12:11.:12:14.

you for coming. Did you enjoy it? Yes! Well done, everyone. Toby does

:12:15.:12:24.

prove as inspirational as the BBC Micro, and a whole microcomputer

:12:25.:12:28.

revolution of the 1980s. That is why I got into this in the first place

:12:29.:12:30.

-- let's hope it does. With reports of near misses with

:12:31.:12:43.

aircraft, invasions of privacy and security breaches, drones aren't

:12:44.:12:49.

always welcome flyers. This month alone, they have been two incidents

:12:50.:12:54.

at major airports, one in one in LA. To avoid any danger to these, the

:12:55.:13:00.

authorities need to find safe ways of bringing the drones out of the

:13:01.:13:06.

sky. Short of shooting them down, where they could fall

:13:07.:13:09.

unpredictably, innovative ideas are needed, and we start with this one.

:13:10.:13:15.

Nature's low-tech solution that the Netherlands police force invited me

:13:16.:13:17.

to see in action. Before seen that with my own eyes I

:13:18.:13:39.

was concerned that the eagle was going to be delicate for the drone,

:13:40.:13:43.

but actually it really took control of that thing. The eagle has learnt

:13:44.:13:50.

to pick up the drone and, much like it would with any prey, bring it

:13:51.:13:58.

down to the ground. And the company behind this project say it shouldn't

:13:59.:14:04.

harm the eagles. While these birds aren't going to become a fast

:14:05.:14:07.

response solution to any situation, the idea is that they will be

:14:08.:14:12.

trained and based around high risk areas like airports or big events.

:14:13.:14:16.

This man on a mission to bring down the unwonted drones has plenty of

:14:17.:14:23.

other ideas as well. The company has come up with deposit billet --

:14:24.:14:29.

possibility to block the signal that controls the drawing and another

:14:30.:14:32.

company has come up with the idea to block or disturb the GPS code of the

:14:33.:14:41.

drone that flies. And that's a concept that one firm in Ohio have

:14:42.:14:46.

been focusing on. The drone defender uses radio frequency disruption,

:14:47.:14:52.

which, if it works, should provide a portable long-range solution to

:14:53.:14:56.

guide the drone out of the sky. But it is not that simple. Although 50

:14:57.:15:01.

have been sold in the US, laws against interfering with radio

:15:02.:15:04.

frequency mean that they can only be used by federal authorities. The

:15:05.:15:11.

Netherlands' police force have also been looking at a device called the

:15:12.:15:17.

Drone Catcher. Another drone which uses its on-board camera to help it

:15:18.:15:23.

trigger a tiny net to safely parachuted its target down to the

:15:24.:15:30.

ground. After an incident in Tokyo last year where a drone carrying

:15:31.:15:33.

radioactive material was flown on to the Prime Minister by the roof, the

:15:34.:15:39.

police have taken action. A drone squad will be on call to use a

:15:40.:15:43.

rescue drone and net to set up to prevent such incidents. And, back in

:15:44.:15:52.

the UK, this, the shoulder mounted skywalk, has been developed. It is a

:15:53.:15:58.

launcher which fires a programmable cell containing a net and

:15:59.:16:03.

parachute. Using lasers and gyroscopes to track the drone it

:16:04.:16:06.

then predicts the flight path to deploy the net at the right time.

:16:07.:16:11.

So, whether these solutions take off or not, the problem doesn't seem to

:16:12.:16:21.

be going away. Bullseye! That was Lara. With me is Jonathan Nicholson

:16:22.:16:27.

from the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK. Hi. Surely it can't be that

:16:28.:16:33.

safe to fire a net at a drone and bring it down? Can it? There are a

:16:34.:16:38.

number of solutions you could use to make short drones are used safely in

:16:39.:16:42.

the UK. That could be one of them, it needs a lot of research to figure

:16:43.:16:46.

out what we can or can't use. What if there's somebody underneath the

:16:47.:16:50.

drone when it's coming down? Less safe than it up their. One thing we

:16:51.:16:58.

look at is geo- fencing. Aircraft or drone reaches a certain point in the

:16:59.:17:02.

sky where it shouldn't be, the drone stops. Another technical solution

:17:03.:17:07.

you could have is a way of tracking drones in real time, so you are

:17:08.:17:12.

aware of where they are, you could potentially track them back to it

:17:13.:17:15.

user and certainly that could be an alerting system for if a drone was

:17:16.:17:19.

coming to close to an airport or a piece of airspace they aren't

:17:20.:17:23.

allowed into. Explain at the moment what happens if a drone is spotted

:17:24.:17:29.

near an airport. We've seen airports actually shut, as in close their

:17:30.:17:33.

operation centre, if they think there are drones around. In other

:17:34.:17:38.

cases the pilot could report the drones to air traffic control and

:17:39.:17:42.

they could alert police. It sounds like a bit of a fax to track down

:17:43.:17:47.

this drone pilots, contact authorities and by the time the

:17:48.:17:52.

drone has disappeared. -- faff. The police have a lot of things at their

:17:53.:17:56.

disposal. There are always police patrolling the airfield and there

:17:57.:17:59.

are helicopters in the UK that can be sent to look at issues. So it

:18:00.:18:03.

could be a quick reaction and certainly we don't want drone users

:18:04.:18:07.

to think that they can get away with using them illegally, got they

:18:08.:18:12.

can't. People have been prosecuted and ultimately, if they are caught

:18:13.:18:17.

using them close to an airfield and within a mile to a -- an airport,

:18:18.:18:24.

you could be imprisoned. Thanks. Back to Dubai where things are

:18:25.:18:30.

hotting up in the question of victory at the World Drone Prix.

:18:31.:18:36.

Sundown. The World Drone Prix semifinals are about to begin.

:18:37.:18:41.

Last-minute tweaks have been made and fighting talk rings out across

:18:42.:18:46.

the circuit. Speed is my game, so I think we will do pretty well. We've

:18:47.:18:51.

got it covered. I didn't come here for second. We've got this! Pilots,

:18:52.:18:57.

navigators and pit crews take their positions. This is it. Is going

:18:58.:19:04.

down. The World Drone Prix kicks off in earnest. And bear off! -- they're

:19:05.:19:11.

off. Time for me to get in on the action

:19:12.:19:18.

as well. When I pop these goggles I will see what the pilots can see now

:19:19.:19:22.

as they race in the finals of the World Drone Prix. Pop the goggles on

:19:23.:19:28.

and I get a pilot's I zoom off the track. This is standard definition,

:19:29.:19:33.

not HD. In HD there would be too much latency and the pilots have to

:19:34.:19:36.

see exactly what's happening at the moment it is happening. We've just

:19:37.:19:41.

had a crash! That is what they call game over.

:19:42.:19:49.

Not just the pastime of amateur hobbyists, it's a serious game with

:19:50.:19:53.

a serious amount of dedication and preparation. Everything from the

:19:54.:19:57.

materials, the processes used and is considered. The technology in the

:19:58.:20:01.

drones is actually very leading edge. The materials they use for

:20:02.:20:06.

example are the best magnets money can buy. You just pump throttle and

:20:07.:20:11.

the thing goes from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in about one

:20:12.:20:20.

second. Each motor is controlled by a small microprocessor, which is an

:20:21.:20:25.

art form in itself come to get that algorithm right. For the customising

:20:26.:20:28.

the drones allows them to pull some serious moves. We put it like this,

:20:29.:20:34.

it stays like this. You can reverse, do everything you want. Flips,

:20:35.:20:38.

flight, almost you don't have limits. And in this tournament there

:20:39.:20:49.

are a lot more serious rules. You need to get air gates. Normally you

:20:50.:20:56.

fly to and you get a penalty but now if you don't get through the air

:20:57.:20:59.

gates you will be disqualified. If you hit somebody you are

:21:00.:21:03.

disqualified. Very tough. Traditionally, the close-knit

:21:04.:21:07.

community sport. We find things like this, the Thompson family, from

:21:08.:21:12.

Australia. They are made up of a grandfather, dad and son. I am Sam,

:21:13.:21:19.

this is my son and my father. I bent this prop, which made the whole

:21:20.:21:25.

thing shake like crazy. That's fine. This is way better than I was

:21:26.:21:29.

expecting and it has been really long and draining and to be honest

:21:30.:21:34.

I'm quite glad it is over for us. While it has certainly been

:21:35.:21:38.

physically demanding, it's also been surprisingly very emotional. The co-

:21:39.:21:43.

organiser says the rapid rise of the sport has been overwhelming. About

:21:44.:21:47.

two years ago when we started the World Drone Prix we were dreaming

:21:48.:21:52.

our wildest dreams. You imagine this track. The first time my friend was

:21:53.:21:57.

flying and gave me the goggles I cried. This is it. The final. The

:21:58.:22:06.

tension in the air is palpable. Confidence has diminished. Game

:22:07.:22:11.

faces are on. Time for maximum focus. How do you feel going into

:22:12.:22:18.

this race? Absolutely terrified. Pressure? It is fine. And bear off!

:22:19.:22:28.

-- they're off! Come on! I was watching him and the

:22:29.:22:45.

video was perfectly clean. When you lose you will blame something other

:22:46.:22:49.

than yourself. Well, there's a lot on the line, that's for sure. So,

:22:50.:22:56.

the final race has been run but there is a little bit of confusion

:22:57.:23:00.

as to who has actually won. Ladies and gentlemen, the track race award

:23:01.:23:13.

is going to... Tornado, from the UK! And it is a sweet victory for this

:23:14.:23:17.

15-year-old British pilots, as he scoops the whopping $250,000 first

:23:18.:23:23.

prize which he will share with the rest of his team. How does it feel

:23:24.:23:27.

to be the winner? Amazing and I couldn't have done it without my

:23:28.:23:33.

team, who are amazing. The dream come true! So honoured!

:23:34.:23:40.

And during the World Drone Prix and other first was announced in Dubai,

:23:41.:23:49.

the world federation of future sports, which aims to take

:23:50.:23:51.

sportsmanship to a new digital level. Robot Wars, driverless car

:23:52.:23:59.

races and ping-pong bot battles are amongst the contest areas

:24:00.:24:02.

considered. It seems this World Drone Prix is just the beginning of

:24:03.:24:05.

many sci-fi sports destined for desert you all is. Anyway, that is

:24:06.:24:11.

all we've got time for. -- desert duals. Follow us on Twitter

:24:12.:24:14.

throughout the week. Thanks for watching and see you soon.

:24:15.:24:17.

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