Show 5 – First broadcast 13/06/2008
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Noel called the studio from Abu Dhabi, where as well as visiting the world’s tallest flagpole, he was helping to launch a new humanoid robot made by PAL robotics. This is a short video clip showing Reem B build a map of where it is. The Crown Prince of UAE makes a guest appearance at the end. Most of the front page press was in Arabic but here is some and ITP article
Earlier in the week he was at the Cheltenham festival of Science , where he sparked an interesting debate about the use of robots, and how their increasing usefulness in childcare may result in a generation of social misfits. Daily Telegraph article here and “bot to watch your tots” in the Sun newspaper. Watch children play with a robot called Qrio here.
Science in the news
Levitiation – Scientists at the Univeristy of St Andrews claim to have reversed the Casimir Effect, a peculiarity of quantum physics that usually causes very small objects that are very close together to attract one another. – Article here.
SnowMote – A New breed of robots could soon wander Antarctica: Noel interviews Ayanna Howard, an associate professor at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, who has worked for two years under a NASA grant to perfect the 2-foot-long robot, the SnoMote. It has been designed for roving Antarctica’s vast expanses to add to data already collected by satellites and a handful of weather stations and sensors. SnoMotes will negotiate with each other and “bid” on which site to investigate, allowing them to decide for themselves how to dole out their assignments.
Supercomputer – Ross talked about ‘RoadRunner‘, currently the worlds fastest supercomputer. Roadrunner cranked up a mind-boggling one quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) calculations a second.
Movers and Shakers
While Noel was down in Cheltenham, he recorded in interview with festival organiser and fellow Professor of Public Engagement in Science and Engineering, Prof. Kathy Sykes.
Noel was concerned this week about ducks getting shot with depleted uranium shot, whereas Ross was far more concerned with the fate of the humble Banana. But don’t worry – If all the Bananas in the world do get wiped out, there will still be seeds locked away in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
The Aliens: Robot Man
The Modern Lovers: Roadrunner
Boards of Canada: Music is math
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