Air Quality Click


Air Quality

As part of the #SoIcanBreathe season, Click focuses on solutions to pollution, including diving drones and a network of sensors. Includes tech news.


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Transcript


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charts are compiled. But is it from me. We will be back at two o'clock

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but now here on BBC News it is time for Click.

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This week, watch out, pollution. We will clean up the city with a bird?

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No, a plane? No. It is a flying fish drone. This week is the BBC's so I

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can breathe season, looking at ways to tackle air pollution around the

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world. We are out on the streets of London to test a new camera from a

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thermal imaging company. It has a sensitivity to a range of gases

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which are invisible to the human night. The camera is supposed to be

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used by experts who know what they are looking for in numbers and

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colours that they see a bid is really supposed to be used in

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industrial locations as well where you are looking for gas leaks. But,

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I must say, even here I can see sprays coming from some of the

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exhaust pipes through this camera that I cannot see with my eyes. Now,

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if you want to tackle air pollution problems across a city, you have to

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know where the pollution is coming from and at what time of day. That

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is something that Mark has been investigating. Poorer quality, as a

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result of pollution, poses a serious risk to public health. It is a huge

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problem. The global burden of disease data now suggests that a

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lack of clean air is the third leading cause of death in the world

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after high blood pressure and smoking. But whether it triggers

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allergy or asthma, understanding the exact challenges that pollution

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causes, especially in a city, can be tricky. The levels of pollution in

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cities can vary a lot between individual streets. The more precise

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the information is, the better we can come up with strategies to

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improve things. We can identify areas with particular problems.

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Action to gather that even more precise data about pollution is

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being taken on the other side of the Atlantic, in Chicago. Because of the

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location of Chicago in the midwest and the fact that it is a large

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city, it is something of a transport hub for road, rail and air

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travellers. All those different vehicles don't do any favours for

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the air quality in the city. Here, a system is being installed which has

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been dubbed a fitness track for a city. It is called the array of

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things when it is completed it will be a citywide network of sensors

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fitted to lampposts and polls. The rate will monitor a variety of

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things from local climate to traffic levels and the air quality of the

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city. Eventually, all of the data the array gathers will be made

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available online for anybody to use. We have come just outside of Chicago

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to the Argonne National laboratory. It is part of the US Department of

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energy and is the birthplace of the array of things. The donor is really

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into air quality, so they are really excited. Here, the team behind the

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array continue to refine the centre boxes and the technology they can

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tame, blazing with city officials and arranging the continual roll-out

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of the network across the city. This is the guts, if you like, of the

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array of things. Which party you if the air quality sensor? This one is

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the air quality sensor. It is an elegiac cell at tuned to a Pacific

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type of chemical. This is a carbon monoxide one, this is the hydrogen.

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And it will record the total level of gas. Installation of the array

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began towards the end of 2016. By the end of 2018, 500 nodes are

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planned for the network, spread across different parts of the city.

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Charlie Kaplan is the project lead. He took me on a whistlestop tour of

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some of the city's earlier census sites. So, Charlie, this is the site

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of one of your first sensors, isn't it? This is one of the first six.

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This one here does the air quality, not just the general air quality but

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this one will tell us seven different gases and so that means we

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can say, well, this one is reading this gas particularly high and we

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know that that that is associated with a diesel truck. The new ones

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that we are putting in we have added an sensor for particles. What we can

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do with a particle sensor is we can look at the very fine particles that

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are measured by EPA and other organisations. The smaller particles

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are the ones you cannot see but they are quite dangerous. They will go

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straight into your bloodstream. The large ones are what triggers

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allergy. So if you are somebody with allergies related to asthma, you

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will be able to use the data from these nodes to look at Poland across

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the city and you may decide to change your cycle route to school or

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work, a sum may be where the pollen concentration is around the city.

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Chicago was not alone when it comes to pollution monitoring. We have a

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system also in London which combines historical pollution data with

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current pollution measurements to provide an hourly update of

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pollution levels across the city. The rollout in Chicago continues.

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The array of things nodes have been installed in other US cities with

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one in Seattle and another in Denver and there is interest in the city --

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system internationally as well. The data generated by the array of

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things will be used by researchers, scientists and healthcare

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professionals to get a better picture of the effects of poor air

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quality and pollution. When it comes to turning this information into

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action, that is job of local government. These two employees

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works of the city of Chicago and working out how the array of things

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can help city look at a range of issues. We have pockets of increased

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rates of asthma among our children that doctors have known about for

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quite sometime but they do not have a lot of information on why they

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happen in certain areas of the city. The role of the array is to help us

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understand the issues with air quality in Chicago in a detailed

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level because you cannot fix a problem if you cannot define it and

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understand it. We think about how heavy pollutant vehicles, say, if we

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installed hundreds of miles of biplanes, there is clear research

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showing that inhaling diesel fumes, especially by cyclists as they ride

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alongside traffic, can harm them. It helps us to picture and take a good

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look at where the bike avenues are and how that corresponds with the

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system. If you have a school or a vulnerable location close to an area

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that has increased air quality challengers, the data from the array

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of things will give us the ability to define a policy that will address

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that. A good example here in Chicago will be a quickly growing

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neighbourhood on the west side. It has evolved into one of our

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trendiest residential and entertainment district. But it has

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also been crisscrossed by any number of street level railroads. By

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looking at data and using data we will make decisions more confidently

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and we will know we'd better than many other cities have the ability

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to know that because of the data that we collect. Here, the

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technology has a role to play in the fight against poor air quality. But

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the bigger pollution busting powers relate to local and national

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government. That was market in Chicago. In London, I'm checking out

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a pollution monitoring device with a difference. I will give you a

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clue... This is the launch pad. With this water tank, they can launch

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their prototype. They even have their own in tunnel. Imperial

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College in London have a drone that can fly through the air, dive into

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the water and then leapt out again. Splash! All the while, gathering

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data to give us a greater understanding of pollution levels

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above and below the surface. The plan is to release a swarm of them

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into an area of concern. This is our response to extreme environments or

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post disaster applications such as after floods toxic spills, or I'll

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spills, nuclear accidents or so numb is. They are different classes of

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applications and capital abilities that they had to do something. This

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low-cost tool brings an enormous value compared to many other methods

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such as the human going there with a full protective suit. I was going to

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say, we have seen a lot of quite robots and we have seen a lot of

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flying robots. It never occurred to me that is quite difficult to get an

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underwater robot over great distances quickly and, so, you have

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combined the two. That is hard-core. So, yes, we will just die of it in

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the water and then died out and fly it that way. In some applications it

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is not even accessible through the water, in floods or ice you may not

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get there. On the other side, and aerial beacon may not be able to get

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the information that local people need so combining the two makes

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sense. During a dive, the drone fills with water and then by

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releasing carbon dioxide from its on-board gas chamber it forces the

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water back out as a high-powered jet which thrusts the drone back

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upwards, propelling it into the air. And in the wings unfold and it comes

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out of the water and it beautifully becomes this flying birdlike thing.

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It is quite graceful. That was a very romantic description. Now you

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know what sort of guy I am and what I get excited about. There is a

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beautiful part of it which makes it elegant. And elegance in nature that

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makes it effective as well. Having the folding wings might be beautiful

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but for us it allows us to reduce the drag that it would experience of

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the dives in the water and allows it to dive more deeply, as well is

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protecting the wings an impact. Hello and welcome to the week in

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Tech. A week which saw Airbus revealed plans for a hybrid car that

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flies. When Jaguar Land Rover revealed a search and rescue vehicle

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that is home to a heatseeking drain. And when high polluter showed off a

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500 metre long test tunnel from which it hopes to fire passengers at

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around 600 miles an hour. That would be a two second journey. Time to

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scream. Testing begins soon. It was also the week in which the

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revelation was televised. According to WikiLeaks, does the CIA can

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listen in on targets using Samsung TVs. Even when users think they have

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switched off. A range of other surveillance methods were exposed

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including a spy department dedicated to hacking the products of apple.

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WikiLeaks say that the CIA is out of control. Apple and Google say they

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have plug the holes and Samsung said it takes privacy seriously and will

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be listening closely to the concerns of its customer. Facebook was left

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red-faced when the BBC pointed out its platform was being used by

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convicted paedophiles to share sexualised images of children. And

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because the BBC shared the images with Facebook to help clean up its

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platform, Facebook reported the BBC to the police, accusing the

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corporation of distributing images of child exploitation. Want to buy a

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cheap house? This one took only 24 hour was to print and cost $10,000.

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artificial intelligence ahead of us, it is no surprise that tech giants

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are investing big time in data sensors. Super brains to make

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intelligent decisions in the cloud. But is this the best tactic? Here's

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Dave Lee. And video is taking a different

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approach. -- NVIDIA. It wants to do all that computation on this. NVIDIA

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is best known for creating chips to handle high-end graphics, at

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increasingly the company is looking to apply that computer power to data

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and AI. This week it introduced Jetson T X two, the latest in their

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line of what are essentially supercomputers on a chip. So, the

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Jetson TX2 is really for artificial intelligence at the age, devices

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like robots, drones, portable medical devices, which need a lot of

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intelligence, but they are really small and they have small power. So

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Jetson is going to give them the level of performance they need to do

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artificial intelligence in that small size. So a drone that has

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artificial intelligence on board is going to help find people that are

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missing in the wilderness, say, and find them and deliver them first aid

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and supplies. Experimenting with the new gear, people said it has many

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practical applications. There are many reasons why you might want to

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keep your computer power on a local device like this. For starters, it

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is much more secure, because your data is not being sent to and from

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the cloud constantly. That means some decisions are made quicker,

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which, if you are riding in a soft driving car, you will probably

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appreciate. -- self driving. There are many microcomputers on the

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market and most of them strive to be as cheap as possible. Not NVIDIA's.

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The Jetson TX2 will cost at least $400.

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It is that time of year again. I've arrived at London's wearable

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technology show. Only some of the highlights don't seem to actually be

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wearable. Well, I've always thought that one of the most natural uses

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for augmented reality would be to provide such now have in a car. --

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satnav. That is one of the functions this device provides. It has this

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section on the dashboard, when images reflected onto this small

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piece of glass, and then we also have this dial on the steering wheel

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which allows you to run through various functions. Things like being

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able to change or music, or answering phone calls without overt

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in your eyes away from that route straight ahead. The only thing is

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that you are actually changing the length of focus, so even though I'm

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looking in the same direction, looking at the screen does take my

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attention away from the road a little. Probably for less time than

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a separate satnav screen over there, though. Smart rings, vibrating

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coats, sportswear tracking your every move. It has all been thought

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of. The market for wearables reached an all-time high in 2016, with 102.4

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million devices shipped. But the focus has shifted away from smart

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devices connecting to multiple apps to simpler ones connecting to just

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one, and that seems to be a trend reflected here. If you are

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travelling somewhere on foot and you need to find your way, then some

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satnav in your shoes would of course be ideal. This device has been

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around a little while, which can attach to the laces of a pair of

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trainers. But now it also slips inside and insole, so if it is time

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to turn left, well, your left foot will vibrate. Time to turn right,

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and your right foot well. Last year we featured a different type of

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vibrating in Seoul. This is a prototype which is aimed at the

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elderly or firm to help them maintain balance. This year, the

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same company has a different product, a device for people

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suffering from Parkinson's. It will shine this laser light in front of

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each foot to help them put each but steadily in front of the other.

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Within Parkinson's there is a symptom called freezing of gate,

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which is fairly common. -- gait. It makes an individual feel as if they

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are glued to the floor at any moment during walking. As you can imagine,

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if your feet are suddenly not following you, you become quite

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prone to falling. Researchers found you can use visual triggers and

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sensory cues to enable a person to continue walking and taken another

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step. And another insole on display. This seems to be a theme this year.

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This time it is a personal safety alarm. If you want to activate it

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you type your feet together twice and you'll selected emergency

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contacts will be told there is an issue. -- your selected. To switch

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it off, you type your feet together three times. Some products on show

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were more finished than others, but overall it was a good glimpse at how

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some of the latest wearable tech is looking right now.

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That was Lara. Now, if you are a parent, like me, it has probably

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crossed your mind that your kids might be using technology a bit too

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much. How long are they spending on their phones? How much are they

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texting? But the popularity of texting amongst young people isn't

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all bad. Sumeet Dowson has been exploring how one organisation is

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using it to deal with serious issues for young people.

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Every Monday morning, this woman spends four hours texting with

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people in need. She is a volunteer counsellor for crisis text line, a

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free support service in the United States. Councillors and textures

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remain anonymous for privacy reasons. -- texters. We have a lot

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of middle schoolers who are concerned about what is going on and

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they reach out to us during the day. They might be concerned about

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sitting alone at lunch, for example. We have texters texting in because

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they are in a domestic violence situation. Most texters are young,

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under the age of 25. People tell us everything. They spill their guts.

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Typically by the third message. Nobody overhears you, you don't have

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to wait, even to be in a quiet place a quiet moment. The millions of

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messages exchanged on crisis text lines make up a data sets teeming

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with mental health insights. It reveals when texters struggle with

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eating disorders and where they have suicidal thoughts. The data was also

:19:57.:20:02.

used to build an algorithm. The model essentially performs triage by

:20:03.:20:06.

analysing each word in the message. So a person who is thinking about

:20:07.:20:10.

arming themselves would have a higher priority in the queue than

:20:11.:20:13.

somebody who is out after a breakup. -- harming. We quickly learned there

:20:14.:20:18.

were other things that were even more high-risk, that we didn't think

:20:19.:20:27.

of or didn't know. Things like #kms, which means "Kill myself".

:20:28.:20:30.

Conversations which reference things like either broken, Tylenol, and

:20:31.:20:36.

Bill, draino, all the household drugs that are within reach. The

:20:37.:20:42.

data is another mice and texters can opt out of data sharing. To promote

:20:43.:20:48.

mental health research some data is shared with researchers. Scientists

:20:49.:20:51.

at Stanford use natural language processing to study about 3 million

:20:52.:20:55.

text messages. They uncovered five phases in the conversations. The

:20:56.:20:59.

introduction, problem setting, exploration, problem-solving and the

:21:00.:21:04.

wrapup. The best councillors were really quick to get through this

:21:05.:21:08.

problem exploration phase. They were really good at getting to the heart

:21:09.:21:11.

of the issue to understand that, and they were quicker to move on in the

:21:12.:21:15.

conversation, which means that they then had more time to spend in this

:21:16.:21:19.

problem-solving phase. At the end of the chat, texters can rate their

:21:20.:21:24.

experience and the council. The researchers found that effective

:21:25.:21:27.

councillors avoided canned responses and able to shift the texter's

:21:28.:21:33.

outlook. We built an algorithm set that could measure different kinds

:21:34.:21:36.

of perspective change from talking, using lots of negative words, to

:21:37.:21:40.

talking about more positive words, to talk about how much you focus on

:21:41.:21:44.

the past versus the present and future, and how much you focus on

:21:45.:21:48.

versus other people. The next step is to create training tools for

:21:49.:21:52.

councillors, like real-time feedback on the conversation, and exploring

:21:53.:21:56.

the potential of a conversational agent. A robot. While data science

:21:57.:22:02.

and tech gets these self-professed data nerds that the crisis text line

:22:03.:22:06.

very excited, it will not use chat box. -- bots. Every messages read

:22:07.:22:17.

and reply to buy a human. We couldn't let you go without

:22:18.:22:20.

mentioning this mind controlled robot that responds really well to a

:22:21.:22:28.

certain thought. In collaboration with Boston University, MIT's

:22:29.:22:31.

computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory has

:22:32.:22:34.

published a system which allows human uses to correct a robot's

:22:35.:22:39.

mistakes by thought alone. It uses the signal we produce when we detect

:22:40.:22:42.

a mistake. It is called the error potential. The user wears an EEG cap

:22:43.:22:50.

and watch as the robot sought paint and wire into two bins. If they see

:22:51.:22:53.

the robot making a wrong choice, they simply think, that's wrong! The

:22:54.:22:58.

cap picks up that thought and the robot will correct its mistakes. We

:22:59.:23:04.

are interested in exploring the possibility of combining the

:23:05.:23:07.

potential -- error potential with other types of signals, which might

:23:08.:23:14.

be easily reliable. Even though these are baby steps there are

:23:15.:23:18.

tremendous applications that could happen in the home, on the factory

:23:19.:23:25.

line, or in the floors, so this technology can help support people

:23:26.:23:28.

in their daily activities, whether they are at work, at play, or in

:23:29.:23:34.

transportation. Pretty interesting stuff, although admittedly, I think

:23:35.:23:38.

that is still in the far future. So how about I tell you about something

:23:39.:23:43.

in the more immediate future? Next week, click is going to India. We

:23:44.:23:50.

will be travelling across the country to meet the people working

:23:51.:23:54.

hard to change lives, save lives, and maybe one day try out a new

:23:55.:24:02.

life. I can't wait. It is going to be brilliant. Join us on Twitter

:24:03.:24:06.

throughout the week for more techies and behind-the-scenes photos and we

:24:07.:24:09.

will see you next week in India. -- Tech news.

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