All Aboard India's Technicolour Dream Train Click


All Aboard India's Technicolour Dream Train

In the final episode of Click's special India season, how Google is turning the country's 163-year-old railway into a fibre optic network to bring internet to all.


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Putin in Moscow and said he was not trying to influence events. And now

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one BBC News, Click. Driving in India is an experience.

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singing... Sort of. Driving in India is an experience.

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The roads are crammed and the horn is on the present and the rules

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are... Well, they are there somewhere, I'm sure. And that's why

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we will not be doing a story about self driving cars in India any time

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soon. And despite the fact that it seems like everybody here owns a

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car, that is not true. Any people choose to travel by train instead.

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If you think that is any less intense... Think again. Yeah, about

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those rules... The central station is a massive heaving hub collecting

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the city to the north and east of India. If you look closely, you will

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see something else connecting the commuters to the rest of the world.

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116 wireless access points provide free Wi-Fi to anybody with an Indian

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phone number. It is provided by Google which says that about 2.5 TB

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are being downloaded here every day. And here is the interesting part,

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this is not just about this station. Along the railway tracks live 45,000

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kilometres of optical fibre and Google is piping Internet access

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down those cables to feed Wi-Fi access to 114 other train stations

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as well. The man overseeing the project is this man, who I caught up

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with while he was waiting for a train. If you had to take one place

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in the country where you wanted tremendous fibre and you had to have

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reliable power then, relatively speaking, power is a challenge and

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the entire country had to walk for, there is only one place. That is

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awry waystation. Can you guarantee that all services on Google's Wi-Fi

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will be treated equally? Absolutely. I think the whole motivation for us,

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if you look at the reason why we do this was to see if we could provide

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an open Internet, completely open with access to the entire world. The

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way the web was designed. So, there is a fibre network rolling out from

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train stations like this to the vast rural areas of this enormous

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country. And David hopped on a train to find out what effect that has

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happened having elsewhere in India. It is hard not to be romantic about

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the railways of India. British colonial rulers laid tracks to

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control shifting resources, mostly out, and prising open markets. Now

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it is about moving people, millions a day. And thanks to optic fibre,

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data. I took the train to a station to investigate. It has proper

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broadband and it is free. People are filling their booths. Apart from

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some controversy, at this station where people were using free Wi-Fi

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to download hard-core pornography, the provision of high-speed Wi-Fi

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has been almost universally praised. 90,000 people pass through the

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station every day. I use the Internet for work and entertainment.

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For a student journalist it means she can keep tabs on breaking

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stories. Early in the morning, the world changes like... So many things

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change. I come and check. Indian stations are full of thriving

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businesses, feeding off or simply feeding the thousands streaming

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through them every day. Free Wi-Fi has been a boon to local businesses

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here. This man runs a tea stall on the platform. He makes more money

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now that his customers and make online payments to him. I use the

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Wi-Fi when my four G signal does not catch. When that does not work, I

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use Wi-Fi, especially when a customer pays digitally. I needed to

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confirm I have received the payment. A digital payment worth about 30% of

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my takings. This is music to the years of people managing the

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railways of India. An industry that runs at a loss. They think that

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high-speed Wi-Fi could be a good pool frustration might Jaipur. They

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planned to build a huge concourse and attract retail and services

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business. As Wi-Fi expands and it becomes taken for granted then I

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think people will transfer more and more of their business. Jaipur is a

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tourist hub of high repute. People come out here from all parts of the

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world. And when you have a huge concourse it is an area where you

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can have shops and entertainment. For Google, more people online as

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more people to sell to. India's railway is the country's backbone.

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Its public Wi-Fi is poised to be at least as far reaching.

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Go and welcome to the week in Tech. It was the week that laptops and

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other electronic devices larger than cellphones were banned from caverns

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on US and UK bound flights, leaving from some African and Middle Eastern

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countries. They start up hopes to be able to provide flights from London

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to Paris by electric plane within ten years and faster than Concorde,

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supersonic travel between London and New York could be back with flight

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times of just three hours and 15 minutes. After the start-up, Boom

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Supersonic gained $33 million in funding. An unarmed starved

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convenience store has opened in Shanghai. Created by a Swedish

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company, the always open never staffed by a human shop requires

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using an app to enter, scam purchases and pay. Nasser is

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creating an origami inspired robot that can flatten itself to fit into

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small spaces. The robot can cope with extremely high temperatures

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and, finally, if you could do anything in virtual reality, what

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would it be? Well... If your answer was to play a game of catch with an

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actual ball then you are in luck. Research have been examining how the

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ball's path can be tracked, predicted and matched up in its

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virtual view. Or... You could just play without the heads sect. --

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headset. You may have noticed by now that the roads here are in India

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are... Well... Utterly chaotic. What is ever more astonishing, consider

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that so few people own a car here. There are just 32 motor vehicles per

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1000 people in India. In the United States, there are 797. But that

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number is changing and I'll tell you a secret, it is not going down. Look

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at these roads. That is a scary thought. One solution could be to

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make better use of the cars that are already on the road. Enter all cabs,

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the biggest taxi reeling app, the Uber of India as you will. Or as

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they say, Uber is the all of India. Founded back in 2010, three years

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before Uber launched in India, they have taken full advantage of their

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head start. They have historically been number one in India but the

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Uber has said that that is changing. It looks like the battle for the Pat

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Cash in India is only just beginning. These are the head

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offices in silicon Valley of India, Bangalore. This is employee number

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one. India is not designed to have many cars. What are the specific

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needs of your customers and drivers? We made a platform that is not just

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about cabs but about many other things in India. Supporting bikes,

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electricity,... Different transport options. So that brings an a lot of

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options for users. They say that it is better because it is local and it

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knows what works in India. They offer things like walk-in centres

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for drivers and being the first to allow drivers to pay by cash. Do

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brew is coming into the Indian market. How are you different from

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them? How will you stay ahead? There is a fundamental difference in the

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way we operate. We believe in what we want and not what we have. Uber

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plugging in things have worked well elsewhere. It is about the

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connection that you make, not just about the transaction. Part of that

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connection is offering centres like this. Here, drivers can talk

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face-to-face with the company, for example Clark, like when they join

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the service for training or if they have a problem, an issue with their

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wages, for example. But they do not actually employee any of these

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people. They call everybody here a partner. In reality, they are

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self-employed. That means they do not get things like holiday pay and

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they are responsible for maintaining their car and paying for fuel. The

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flipside is that drivers can, in theory, set their own schedule and

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work when they please. It is a controversial system that transport

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and delivery companies around the world have used to keep costs down.

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Despite this, all really, really wants drivers to drive. A lock. So

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much so that there are carrots if you stay on the road and sticks if

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you don't. What India really needs to focus on is to enable mobility

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for a billion people. We need to leapfrog all sorts of impediments

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and we need to promote share mobility, sustainable options, our

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government is focusing in a big way on all vehicles. Ola is one of the

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most successful start-ups to come out of the education sector. These

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top-level universities are dotted across India and they are the

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driving force behind many of India's technology successes. Getting into

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IIT is a competitive business. Only a tiny fraction of applicants get in

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in any year. But if you do, you get to work in incredible campuses like

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this. My first appointment is at the

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Olympic-sized swimming pool. Although it's not me who's taking a

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dip... This is Matsia, named after the avatar of Vishnu, which takes

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the form of a fish, it's a multipurpose underwater robot that

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can operate autonomously, without a human controller, to make sounds,

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and recognise, manipulate and grab objects. The team tell me it might

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be used to find flight recorders from aircraft, although they're also

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pitching it to the military to fire torpedoes. The project is in its

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fifth year, and the team leader here tells me the work is hard,

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We are giving everything you want... Like a race carg, or a satellite.

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Brilliant! Is Matsia is one of 100 projects that have been supported by

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IIT Bombay's society for innovation and entrepreneurship since 2004.

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It's an umbrella for start-ups and, as with incubators everywhere,

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you'll find all kinds of ideas bubbling away behind its doors. As

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you might expect, there are aerial ideas, there are medical ideas, but

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there are also musical ideas - which is why you find me making strange

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noises with my face... Doooo-deeeee-ddoooooo. Very good.

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There you go. You got some score over there. "Some score." If you do

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better, your score will increase. Yeah, the worst karaoke India has

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ever heard. But then, this singing training app is so much more than

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normal karaoke-style games... Most karaoke apps do a very cursory kind

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of evaluation of your singing. Some don't evaluate your singing, they

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just have input - you open your mouth, you get a good rating. We do

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a multidimensional evaluation of your singing on different aspects of

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music - pitch, rhythm, dynamics, timing...

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You asked for a hard exercise! Ehhhh-oooooh...

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Eeeeeh-eeeeee-eeeeehhh... ECHOING

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If my singing went right through you, I've got something upstairs

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that will really cut to the bone. The Algo Surge team are working on a

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system for surgeons to plan surgery. They've created software that's

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learned to create a three-D model of bones from just two two-dimensional

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X-rays. I can imagine, after a lot of experience, a bone - if I just

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look at an X-ray, I can imagine it in three-D - can we do the same

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thing with computers? A virgin can do it, because he has learned a lot

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of correlation between X-ray data and the bone he sees in the surgery.

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We use the same logic to develop the software. We have a machine-learned

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algorithm which has learned the three-D of bones across the

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population. We have created a lot of models from CT scan, and we use this

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as a kind of database, and we create an algorithm to understand that

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database in a particular array to predict X-ray images. These three-D

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models also allow for tools and guides to be designed to the

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patient's specific dimensions. For example, if a surgeon was preparing

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to cut and realign legs. We have special, specific instrumentation

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which uses the bone surface in three-D, and it is like a negative

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of the three-D bone surface. If you make that part and print it in

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three-D, and put it on the real bone, it will exactly fit. So what

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we do is, we use that concept to cut, to make surgeon cut more

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rapidly, so this part will be exact fit on the bone, but it will also

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have a slit which will be aligned with the cutting plate. That slit

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can be used during the surgery to guide cutting tool. Two X-rays are,

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of course, cheaper than a full three-D CT or MRI scan and, once

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again, it means patients can be assessed who can't get to a fully

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kitted hospital. There's no surprise that many of the projects here

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concentrate on low-cost, rugged solutions to developing world

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problems. You may have come across Braille displays before, which allow

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you to connect via Bluetooth to your Android tablet, then whichever menu

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item is highlighted on the screen, the text is mirrors on the Braille

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readt here, and you can control the navigation using up and down buttons

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here. Well, this is a prototype Braille display called Braille Me,

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which works in a slightly different way. The Braille displays currently

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existing on the market are based on keiso-electric technology. Because

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of that, the cost for these devices are around are $2,000 to deloo 3,000

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each. We developed a completely new technology based on magnetics that

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are able to reduce the cost by 10 times. So we can sell it to the user

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at a price point around $300-$400. This machine needs to move for at

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least 10 million cycles of movement, it needs to be quiet, have power,

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and needs to be very precise. That is the challenge. This is the

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Andumen Irdu Primary School in Calcutta. There are 155 kids here

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from Grade 1 through to 7, and a whole bunch of dedicated teachers.

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And this is how they start their day.

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Over in Virjaya Nijak's classroom, things are a little more serious...

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So, at the back of the projector, there's a device which is plugged in

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and is running videos on English, maths and science. The videos are

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made for the entire region. But then they're dubbed in different

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dialects, different languages, depending on where they're sent to.

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Today, we're learning about fractions.

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It is great teaching tool - as long as there is electricity... But there

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are plenty of times when there isn't.

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Transthis is a valued school. Earlier, it would be difficult to

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teach because of power cuts. As the day passed by in the afternoon, we

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would have power cuts for more than two hours. That's why the projector

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and tablet are hooked up to this box, which is itself attached to a

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solar panel on the roof. Together, they can provide up to five hours of

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electricity a day, meaning that classes don't have to be interrupted

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or cancelled if the power cuts out. Then, we started using solar power,

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as it is an easy and natural source of generating electricity. We have

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introduced a studiy of generating power through solar energy to our

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students, and are teaching them the importance and working of it. We

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also explain to our students that this process will help us in the

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future to generate electricity. This whole system has been provided by

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the Selco Foundation, an Indian charity with the aim of hoping to

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alleviate poverty by improving access to energy. With this, they

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will get a better education through audiovisual teaching, and there is

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no problem of electricity. So time teachers can take their students to

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the classroom, they can teach through this medium. Selco and other

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NGOs they work with pay for half of the cost of installing the projector

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and solar system - the other half comes from local schools or local

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governments. How important is the projector?

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TRANSLATION: Before this project came in to use it, we had very few

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students. But since, we have started using the solar power, our number of

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students has increased in a good way. We have students coming to us

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from different villages to learn, and not only students - we have

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other schools coming down to our institute for smart classes. The

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smart class is a good way of teaching kids these days. They seem

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to enjoy and learn more than usual. After we introduced part? Class, our

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school stands proudly in the educational sector. We plan to grow

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larger as the years pass by. Cool. Whoa!

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The same system is already in hundreds of rural schools, and

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they're aiming to add hundreds more this year.

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And it's not just key for schools - across rural India, businesses can

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be helped massively by having a reliable power supply. Somana is a

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seamstress who lives a short drive from Kindapur. She became the

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breadwinner for her family after her father was taken ill. The more

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clothing she can prepare, the more she gets paid. With her old method,

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she could fix a couple of items per day. But thanks to the solar panel

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on her roof, she can whiz through five or sext per day. Plus, she has

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a fan, a TV and a light, so she can work earlier and later.

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One-quarter of India's rural population lives below the official

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population line - that's 260 million people whose livelihoods could be

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improved by the addition of basic facilities like electricity. And of

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course, one key way of helping people out of poverty is...

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..education. It's always such a privilege to come to a place like

:23:52.:23:57.

this and see how the simplest technology can make a world of

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difference. That's it from India for the moment. You can see plenty of

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photos and more backstage gossip on Twitter. We live at:

:24:07.:24:08.

Thanks for watching. See you soon. There will be some chilly

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nights this weekend.

:24:35.:24:37.

In the final episode of Click's special India season, how Google is turning the country's 163-year-old railway into a fibre optic network to bring internet to all. Plus a soon-to-be weaponised underwater drone and the 'Uber of India'.


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