Riders hurt in two spills at the Park

first_imgThree jockeys sustained injuries and had to be rushed to hospital in two separate races, the sixth and seventh, respectively, at Caymanas Park yesterday.Coming out worst was three-time champion Dane Nelson, whose mount, MONTEGONIAN, stumbled and fell approaching the furlong pole in the sixth race over 1300 metres, decking the popular jockey. In the ensuing melee, STRAIGHTFROMUHEART was brought down, throwing jockey Richard Mitchell as well. The horse also stepped on Nelson, who lay motionless on the ground for a while before he was rushed to the First Aid Post in the track ambulance.Nelson regained consciousness shortly after, but was then fitted with a neck brace by the paramedics and taken to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) for treatment and further observation.Mitchell, on the other hand, escaped injury, but did not ride for the remainder of the day.In the very next race over 1500 metres, won by 7-2 chance DREAMCOMETRUE, both DINNER BY SEVEN and STIR IT UP dislodged their respective riders, Paul ‘Country’ Francis and the veteran Vassell ‘Jollyman’ Najair in the backstretch.Francis is suspected to have fractured his collar bone, while the 62-year-old Najair was badly shaken up and received an injury to his face. Both were taken to the UHWI for observation.SEVERAL SPILLSAlthough there have been several spills on racedays at Caymanas, only one has claimed the life of a jockey in 56 years of racing at the track. This occurred on November 20, 1999, when popular lightweight jockey, Al Gopie, was thrown by his mount, SAGAR, at the half mile and was trampled by horses in the day’s penultimate race.Meanwhile, firm favourites ROYAL ASSAULT and ETERNAL JOY led from start to finish to win the co-feature races on the card.Ridden by champion jockey Shane Ellis for trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes, the much-improved 4-y-o colt, ROYAL ASSAULT, romped the overnight allowance sprint as the 3-5 favourite. And 30 minutes later, the Neive Graham-trained ETERNAL JOY, a 2-1 favourite, with apprentice Linton Steadman replacing the injured Paul Francis, did likewise in the closing race over 1200 metres for the Colin Melhado Memorial Cup (claiming $250,000-$210,000).last_img read more

Our Complex Brains: Lessons from Phrenology

first_imgThis is your brain on science: it is too complex for simplistic diagrams.  Back in the 19th century, the “science” of phrenology was in full swing.  Phrenologists divided the brain into more than two dozen regions of “mental faculties” that controlled such things as instincts for eating and sex, sensation of color, language ability, and even moral and intellectual qualities such as love, wisdom, poetry and ability to ponder metaphysics.  Once these regions were mapped out, some practitioners believed they could rate your abilities by feeling the bumps on your head.  These beliefs quickly degenerated into ranking races and groups as intellectually superior or inferior.    Even into the late 20th century, it was common for textbooks to subdivide the brain into distinct functional regions.  There is observational support for this: we know that sensory organs (eyes, ears) map to localized regions in the brain, and that sensory and mental disorders can be traced to sites of damage or poor development.  In addition, the brain does have a noticeable structure: a stem, a hypothalamus, white matter, gray matter, the cerebral cortex and other recognizable parts.  The left and right hemispheres have different properties – though not to the degree to support popular misconceptions that women are right-brained and men are left-brained, or that artists are right-brained and scientists are left-brained.    Neuroscience of the brain is a rapidly growing field.  The brain can be approached through multiple paths.  Scientists can strive to understand the workings of individual brain cells, such as the varieties of neurons and glial cells.  Others can monitor brain waves during various activities.  The effects of diet, exercise and sleep can be measured.  Comparative anatomy can compare and contrast brain structure and function in lab rats, cats, monkeys and humans.  And the effects of brain damage can be ascertained.  Our ability to probe the brain’s secrets have become increasingly sophisticated with MRI, fluorescent proteins, genetic engineering and more.    We have learned much, but there is a vast undiscovered landscape within the brain still to be understood.  Some idea of the status of brain research can be found in a couple of recent papers.  They show one clear lesson: that ideas about localized functional areas are far too simplistic.  Phrenology was wrong.  The entire brain is in constant communication: function cannot be restricted to distinct regions, and we still have the profound mind-body problems about the seat of consciousness and intellect.  Actually, phrenology might have served as a useful heuristic device, an attempt to bring order out of complexity, but it is dismissed as pseudoscientific today.  Here are some of the recent indications that more than we can imagine is going on at the nexus of structure and function.PhreNOlogy:  Robert Knight in Science June 15 commented about recent papers that “debunk phrenology.”1  His first paragraph pretty much sums up the verdict:Systems neuroscience aims to understand how billions of neurons in the mammalian brain support goal-directed behavior, such as decision making.  Deciphering how individual neurons respond to sensory inputs or motor decisions has focused on delineating the neural basis of these processes in discrete regions of the brain’s cortex, and has provided key insights into the physiological basis of behavior.  However, evidence from neuropsychological, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging studies in humans has revealed that interactions between widespread neural regions in the brain underlie fluid, organized behavior.  Two papers in this issue, by Womelsdorf et al. on page 1609 and Saalmann et al. on page 1612, and a recent paper in Science by Buschman and Miller, unravel the details of these interactions by assessing the simultaneous activity of neurons in multiple sites of the mammalian brain.  The studies show that network interactions among anatomically discrete brain regions underlie cognitive processing and dispel any phrenological notion that a given innate mental faculty is based solely in just one part of the brain.Researchers found multiple regions of the brain responding to the same visual tasks in monkeys.  There appeared to be feedback between widely-separated regions.  Some of these regions communicate at different frequencies of oscillations.  The current picture is one of neural networks involving the entire brain, not just localized regions responding to sensory inputs.Primer:  Stewart Shipp gave readers of Current Biology a primer on brain structure.2  He began by giving a reason why our gray matter has its odd, wrinkled shape.  It provides efficiency in wiring:The grey matter of the cerebral cortex is a convoluted, layered sheet of tissue, 2-3 millimetres thick in man but with a surface area of several hundred square centimetres.  This is not an adaptation to promote gaseous exchange, or heat loss – rather, if the grey matter is compact in at least one dimension, it is outgoing axons that may readily escape it; once outside, they club together and form the cortical white matter.  If grey and white were intermixed, the average separation of neurons would be greater, creating extra neural ‘wiring’.  The speed of cortical computation would suffer accordingly.    The principle of economic wiring can also be invoked to account for regional specialisation of function across the surface area of the cortex.  Put simply, neurons performing similar roles need to communicate, and do so more efficiently if nearby.Thus the reason for regions of function.  Nevertheless, it’s not the whole story: there is also a great deal of cross communication between regions, as well as cross-level communication within regions.    Shipp described how columns of neurons (perpendicular to the layering) were found to correspond to distinct parts of the body: a patch of skin, for instance, might activate a column of neurons within the motor region.  But there is also communication parallel to the layering across columns, and this is where the simple idea of distinct regions breaks down:Moving tangentially through the sheet (parallel with the plane of layering) the discovery was that neighbouring columns have neighbouring receptive fields � the ensemble of columns ultimately giving rise to a cortical map of the relevant sensory surface.  In sensory cortex, this engenders the ‘one map, one area’ principle for parcelling the cortical surface into discrete areas, each of which is thought to have some nuance of functional specialisation.  Cortical areas are richly interconnected – with each other and with subcortical structures – and the layering of the cortex reflects the radial organisation of all these input-output relationships.  Indeed, the layered pattern is rather uniform over the expanse of the sheet, as if to serve basic ‘housekeeping’ operations that generalise across cortical applications as diverse as colour vision, speech and music.Some regions are well known – the primary motor cortex and the primary visual cortex – but “These variations in cortical architecture have long been treated purely cartographically, betraying a lack of any analytic insight into the way different applications might modulate layer structure and function,” he said, further debunking phrenology.  “This is largely because, as documented below, our appreciation of layers is still rooted rather more securely in anatomical than physiological cortical characteristics.”  The whole picture requires both.    We know more about the visual cortex because it has received an order of magnitude more study than other regions of the brain.  The emerging picture is more of multiple layers of structure and function, with cross-communication and feedback between all of them.  The brain must be seen as an entire network of interacting systems.  Yes, areas with discrete functions tend to be collocated, but the brain as a system cannot be carved up into chunks.    This brings us to Shipp’s tongue-in-cheek conclusion: the brain is your fiend.The complexities of cortical circuitry are nothing short of fiendish, and the problem of integrating genetic, morphological and physiological details from diverse cortical areas and across diverse species is a worthy challenge to the burgeoning science of neuroinformatics.  Though inconsistencies abound, the fact that some trans-areal, trans-specific generalisations are possible, and justified, is a quite remarkable observation.  Following the strategy of ‘know thine enemy’, it appears that the cortical fiend has some interesting habits, which we can usefully begin to tag with some shorthand, functional labels.“Neuroinformatics” – a very suggestive word.Knight ended his review with a comment about neuroinformatics – one of the most baffling questions of all:One mystery remains: How is information in oscillatory activity encoded?  The individual spike train rate (the number of times a neuron fires each second) or spiking frequency (the rhythm at which a neuron fires) is not sufficient for coding the vast array of processes that underlie perception, memory, or decision making.  Nevertheless, the three groups have laid the groundwork for deciphering this neural code.The mind-body problem, therefore, is still with us.  How does the soul, the mind, consciousness, intellect, wisdom, morality, and abstract reasoning correlate with a physical object, the brain?  The problem becomes apparent as you “think about thinking about“ this right now.  Your eyes are receiving light waves.  Those inputs are traveling to your optic nerve, and to the visual cortex of your brain.  Neurotransmitters are being secreted across synapses.  Billions of cells are involved in the process of reading these words.  Yet writer and reader each have a sense of communicating information through space.  You may be across the planet from the one who wrote this.  We sense ourselves reasoning about abstract concepts that cannot be reduced to atoms and molecules.  Information is being conveyed and stored.  Values are being expressed.  That information can cause the reader to command body parts to move in response.  Where is the connection between concept and atom, between mind and molecule?  The mysteries are profound.  They have occupied the minds of the world’s greatest philosophers for thousands of years.  One thing is clear: don’t expect a simplistic model like phrenology to satisfy the requirements for explanation.1Robert T. Knight, “Neural Networks Debunk Phrenology,” Science, 15 June 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5831, pp. 1578-1579, DOI: 10.1126/science.1144677.2Stewart Shipp, “Structure and function of the cerebral cortex,” Current Biology, Vol 17, R443-R449, 19 June 2007.If you were living in the 19th century, would you have been swayed by the claims of the phrenologists?  Would they have influenced you to think they were onto something scientific?  Would you have come in for a sitting for a skilled phrenologist to feel the bumps on your head, and tell you about your abilities?  Well, you would have been misled.  One can only wonder about the mischief done to victims of this simplistic pseudoscience – students influenced toward wrong careers based on the verdict of a phrenologist that he or she was poor at art or wisdom or abstract reasoning; false pride given to fools who were told they were intellectually superior; and worst of all, whole classes of people who were deemed unfit or defective based on their skull features.  The Rwandan genocide can be traced to phrenology.  The Dutch began a racist segregation of two very similar tribes, the Hutus and Tutsis, based on alleged intellectual differences.  Those tensions grew until the genocide of 1994 that killed nearly a million people (see Touchstone Magazine).    Yet are we immune today?  We still fall for the same old tricks.  Here’s a simple one: the brain of a stegosaurus was proportionally small for its body size, therefore stegos were stupid.  While that probably was true in some sense, do you see the hidden assumption?  The statement assumes that bigger is better.  Sometimes more power and efficiency can occupy a smaller space.  Your small laptop computer is more powerful than a bulky 1970s mainframe.  Maybe the stego had much more efficient and compact neurons than we do, or a better organized neural network.  Who knows; maybe they were actually good at philosophy but didn’t leave any written records.  We jest, but beware the logical traps of begging the question and glittering generalities.  Evolutionary paleoanthropologists are often guilty of this (e.g., 01/27/2004).    A study of the history of science is valuable as a warning about pitfalls in reasoning that can become part of an accepted cultural mythology, sometimes for decades and centuries.  OK, so phrenology is wrong.  Don’t think that today’s neuroscientists and psychologists have it right.  The myth of progress tempts us to assume that whatever is newer is better.  Yes, we have better tools and a much more precise observational database about the details of the system, but the complexities of the mind and the brain remain vast and seemingly intractable.  Today’s evolutionary neuroscientists are trying to tell us that love, altruism and morality are due to brain mutations in our primitive ancestors.  To what mutations do they attribute that conclusion?    Shipp advises us to know the enemy and attack the cortical fiend inside us.  In some respects, given what we know of human nature (1, 2, 3), that metaphor might generate some productive heuristics.(Visited 63 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The 5thWave Forum

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Tregg CroninDTN Contributing AnalystThere’s an old market adage that says, “There is always a bull market somewhere.” Corn, soybean and wheat bulls have had opportunities during the 2019-20 marketing year, and some of that story is still being written as harvest continues to plod along across the Midwest. One market that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention until combines began to roll, however, is the sunflower market.For obvious reasons, the sunflower market doesn’t garner the interest other grain and oilseed markets do given the largest number of planted acres over the last 10 years was 2 million. The sunflower market is taking on added importance this year given the tightening U.S. and global vegetable oil markets, as some DTN authors have written about recently.South and North Dakota rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in sunflower production in the United States. It is no secret to anyone that these two states were inundated with rain throughout the summer growing season with both running 150% to 600% above normal precipitation over the last 90 days. Unlike corn and soybean crops, sunflower crops do not need near the amount of moisture as their row-crop brethren to produce bumper yields. As producers know all too well, excess moisture can be a large hindrance to yield in the way of disease pressure. Producers in the Dakotas are seeing that play out this year with anecdotal reports from both Dakotas suggesting yields are down anywhere from 15% to 50% versus a year ago.Based on the last production estimates from USDA, the national average sunflower yield in the United States was expected to be 1,722 pounds per acre (ppa), which would be down from last year’s record-tying yield of 1,731 ppa, but still the second highest in history. That percentage change would be down half of 1%. Total sunflower supplies of 2.748 billion pounds are expected to be essentially flat from a year ago.Assuming USDA is close on their ideas for demand at 2.492 billion pounds, this would produce a carryout of 253.4 million pounds. If accurate, this would be the smallest carryout since 2014-15. The projected stocks-to-use ratio at current estimates of 10.17% would be the smallest since 2013-14. The USDA assumptions are based on yield ideas that clearly look elevated at this juncture, not to mention harvested acreage, which could prove optimistic given the soggy field conditions in the Northern Plains.If the national average yield is reduced even 10%, which would seem conservative based on reports from producers, projected carryout would be reduced to just 20.2 million pounds versus 286.5 million pounds a year ago. If we plug in the lowest yield of the last 10 years, which would be 1,383 ppa from 2013-14, and down 20% from last year, carryout goes negative by 189.6 million pounds if demand is left unchanged. Obviously, demand will not remain static, but it helps illustrate the degree to which rationing could be necessary in 2020.If the U.S. situation weren’t enough on its own, the global sunflower balance sheet offers its own compelling argument for higher prices. Using USDA’s latest estimates, global sunflower production is expected to be the second largest on record at 51.381 million metric tons (mmt), or 113.2 billion pounds, just behind 2018-19’s record number of 51.417 mmt (113.3 billion pounds).Total supplies in 2019-20 are essentially flat from last year’s record while demand is expected to rise to 54.055 mmt (119.1 billion pounds), a new record. Carryout is projected at 2.450 mmt (5.399 billion pounds), which would be the tightest since 2010-11. The projected stocks-to-use ratio of 4.53% is seen as the tightest since 1997-98. All of the aforementioned assumptions are obviously before making any changes to the U.S. To be fair, the U.S. ranks 10th in global sunflower production with Ukraine, Russia and the European Union ranking first through third, respectively.As noted above, a tight sunflower market takes on added importance in a year with a tightening global vegetable oil market. Combining supplies of coconut oil, cottonseed oil, olive oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, rapeseed oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil yields, the largest total supplies on record sit at 313.4 mmt. Combined demand for these individual markets is estimated by USDA at 293.8 mmt, also a new record, and providing a carryout of 19.659 mmt. Assuming this to be accurate, carryout would be the smallest since 2010-11. The estimated stocks-to-use ratio of 6.69% would be the tightest since 1976-77.With general market expectations that the soybean supply situation could tighten further before the end of the 2019-20 marketing year, the global vegetable oil outlook could get even more constructive. The largest vegetable oil markets in the world are palm oil, soybean oil and rapeseed oil, respectively. When just these three markets are isolated, the trends remain the same with the smallest carryout since 2010-11 and the tightest stocks-to-use ratio since 1976-77.Based on the latest crop progress data from USDA, sunflower harvest nationally was estimated at 31% complete as of Nov. 3, which is the slowest since 2013 but above 2009’s record-slow harvest progress of 15% at this time. Over two-thirds of the U.S. crop is yet to be harvested, but if early yields are an overall indicator of this year’s sunflower crop, much tighter supplies look like a certainty in 2019-20. With an abundance of prevented planting acres in the Dakotas this growing season and wet conditions pointing toward another year of prevented planting in 2020, sunflowers may need to send a strong price signal next spring to ensure producers do not opt for other crops.Tregg Cronin can be reached at tmcronin31@gmail.comFollow Tregg Cronin on Twitter @5thWave_tcronin(BE/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Australian Sports Commission newsletter

first_imgOur Sporting FutureAustralia’s leading sports forum will be held on 29-30 July 2010.WIN $500 worth of HART Sport gear for your club or school!Do you know a volunteer in your local sporting community? Coaches and officials can now apply for $1.6 million in grantsLocal Sporting Champions grants support junior sport. New tool to build better sports clubsClub Health Check helps clubs plan for the future. Helping more golfers with disability to tee offGreater opportunities for people with disability to play golf. Winners announced in music video competitionCompetition encourages kids to turn to sport and play for life. Winners announced in music video competition2009 Media Awards recognise excellence in sports journalism. 5 Star Community Coach Awards for 2009Recognising outstanding achievement in coaching. Super Site Awards for 2009Recognising outstanding delivery of the AASC program. Get On Board!Encouraging young people to ‘Get On Board!’ this holidays. Ten tips to promote inclusion in your sporting club Embracing sports inclusion for all cultures. Free resourcesNew volunteers resources Local Sporting Champions grants New videos for coaches and officials Sports Ability Gala Day resources Recipes from AIS Survivallast_img read more

10 months agoChelsea No2 Zola delighted with Loftus-Cheek for Cup win

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea No2 Zola delighted with Loftus-Cheek for Cup winby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola was delighted with Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s performance for victory over Bournemouth.Eden Hazard came off the bench to hit the winner and send Chelsea into a Carabao Cup semifinal against Tottenham.Loftus-Cheek was a danger on the right wing and hit the post in the second half.Zola said, “I was impressed with him. He has done very well as one of the wide players, but he showed a lot of application and sacrifice when he played as a midfielder. He was getting tired towards the end but he was still disciplined and gave the team a hand.”He has come far since the beginning of the season. He has improved in many ways, and I’m pleased because he is a good boy and he works very hard on his game.” last_img read more

13 days agoPuyol confident Valdes will bounce back from Barcelona sacking

first_imgPuyol confident Valdes will bounce back from Barcelona sackingby Carlos Volcano13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveCarles Puyol is confident Victor Valdes will bounce back from his sacking by Barcelona.Valdes, Puyol’s former teammate, was relieved of his duties as Juvenil A coach following disagreements with the club, yet Puyol did not shed much light on the decision.”Victor as a coach still does not have much experience,” former Barca captain Puyol explained.”Last season he did very well. In the world of football, he has a lot of knowledge to teach children.”I don’t know the reasons for his departure, and I’m not inside the club, but I’m sure he’ll be a great coach [in the future] and will help develop some great footballers.”Youth football is not easy, you have to focus on the training of the players and not so much on the results.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Michigan State Takes Over As Consensus No. 1 In College Basketball Polls

first_imgCollege Basketball polls for week 7 of the season.Twitter/@MSU_BasketballLast week saw a major shake-up at the top of the college basketball world, and it is definitely reflected in the updated AP and Coaches Polls. After Kentucky fell at UCLA and Maryland dropped to former No. 1 UNC, we have a new top team: the Michigan State Spartans. Tom Izzo’s club is 9-0, and followed up by Kansas in the AP, and Iowa State in the Coaches Poll. The Spartans are the new No. 1 according to the latest USA TODAY Coaches Poll. pic.twitter.com/gWxtC9vt88— Spartan Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) December 7, 2015Here are both full Top 25 polls:AP Poll:1. Michigan State2. Kansas3. North Carolina4. Iowa State5. Kentucky6. Maryland7. Oklahoma8. Duke9. Villanova10. Virginia11. Purdue12. Xavier13. Arizona14. West Virginia15. Providence16. Baylor17. Miami (FL)18. Butler19. SMU20. Gonzaga21. Vanderbilt22. Louisville23. Cincinnati24. Oregon25. UtahUSA Today Coaches Poll:1. Michigan State2. Iowa State3. North Carolina4. Kentucky5. Duke6. Villanova7. Kansas8. Oklahoma9. Maryland10. Virginia11. Purdue12. Arizona13. Xavier14. West Virginia15. Baylor16. Vanderbilt17. Gonzaga18. Providence19. Louisville20. Miami (FL)21. Butler22. Cincinnati23. Oregon24. Utah25. Texas A&Mlast_img read more

37 Instructors Trained in Animation Techniques

first_imgThirty-seven animation instructors from 17 institutions across the island have been trained in advanced 2D and 3D animation techniques through the ‘Train The Trainers’ Module three Programme (TTT 3).The six-week training programme, held from July 3 to August 11, was aimed at enhancing the effectiveness in the delivery of local animation training programmes.The training was facilitated under the Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industries (YEDAI) Project signed between the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank Group.Participants benefitted from training conducted by instructors from Capilano University in Canada. Focus areas included drawing for instructors; character design process; principles of animation; and special effects animation.Speaking at the closing ceremony, held on Friday (August 11) at the Excelsior Community College in Kingston, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Hillary Alexander, said the programme aims to prepare animators to participate in the US$243 billion animation and gaming industry.“For some of you, today’s ceremony is the culmination of the programme which started in July 2015. For others, this was your first time participating. Regardless of where the journey started for you, one thing is certain, the training you have received in this module have been instrumental in preparing you to meet market-driven demands,” she said.The Permanent Secretary added “this will definitely assist in placing our country firmly on a path to developing the industry and creating meaningful jobs for our country.”For his part, Programme Instructor, Adam Sale, said the 8,000 training hours were well spent and encouraged all stakeholders to continue practising the lessons learned.“I want to stress the importance of giving faculty more time to work with their craft [and] to stay current with software. The best way to take advantage of faculty is to give them knowledge, which they can then impart back to their students and the only way to do that is to give them time,” he said.He added that animation continues to grow in Jamaica and with continued support from Government and (other stakeholders), progress will continue.First introduced in July 2015, the ‘Train The Trainers’ Module 1 focused on equipping Jamaican animation instructors with effective teaching strategies, techniques and methodologies in the fundamental principles of 2D and 3D animation using a combination of theoretical and practical approaches.The programme was continued the following year with the ‘Train The Trainers’ Module 2 taking a more practical approach based on technical skills learned in TTT1.The TTT programme was designed in collaboration with Jamaican Animation Studios, Educational Institutions and International Education Experts and is being implemented by the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology.last_img read more

Research project validates viability of pigments that reduce building temperature absorb environmental

first_img Source:http://ruvid.org/ri-world/researchers-validate-the-viability-of-pigments-that-decrease-building-temperature-and-clean-air-pollution/ Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 7 2019The Environmental Inorganic Chemistry and Ceramic Materials Group of the Universitat Jaume I (UJI) in Castellón, Spain, has developed a research project to assess, transfer and exploit refreshing and photo-catalytic pigments (cool pigments) with a base of Scheelite that are used to decrease the temperature of buildings and also to absorb part of the environmental pollution.The research personnel have conducted efficacy tests of the pigments in the last few months, on the rooftop of the UJI’s Higher School of Technology and Experimental Sciences, with financing by the Valencian Agency for Innovation (AVI), where they have observed that the photo-catalytic pigments used were able to decrease air pollution by almost 20%, specially regarding nitrous oxides, volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide.The team also tested refreshing pigments with high infrared reflectance, rejecting the infrared radiation rays from the buildings and thus decreasing the temperature of the surface by around three degrees while preventing the urban heat island effect, which is when dark, asphalted surfaces from cities absorb the solar energy and then release it slowly, causing the temperature of urban areas to be higher than that of its surroundings, as well as increasing the probability of smogs (polluting clouds) to appear.The project has been developed by researchers Guillermo Monrós, Vicente Esteve and Mario Llusa with the collaboration of Arnau Monrós and Sara Cerro from the Department of Inorganic and Organic Chemistry of Castellón’s public university.last_img read more

Autonomous robot that interacts with humans using natural language and vision processing

first_img Provided by Purdue University The autonomous robot, named Hosh, will navigate environments and interact with people. Shown in the top photo is the robot’s computer display including a map, camera view and additional operating software. The bottom shows researchers Jeffrey Mark Siskind (left), Thomas Ilyevsky (center) and Jared Johansen (right) through the robot’s computer vision. Credit: Hope Sale / Purdue Research Foundation image “The project’s overall goal is to tell the robot to find a particular person, room or building and have the robot interact with ordinary, untrained people to ask in natural language for directions toward a particular place,” said Jeffrey Mark Siskind, an associate professor leading the research team. “To accomplish this task, the robot must operate safely in people’s presence, encourage them to provide directions and use their information to find the goal.”Doctoral candidates Thomas Ilyevsky and Jared Johansen are working with Siskind to develop a robot named Hosh that can integrate graphic and language data into its navigational process in order to locate a specific place or person. The team is developing the robot through a grant funded by the National Science Foundation’s National Robotics Initiative.This robot could help self-driving cars communicate with passengers and pedestrians or could complete small-scale tasks in a business place such as delivering mail. The robot would contribute to the expected $14 billion growth of the consumer robotics industry by 2025, as projected by the Boston Consulting Group.The robot will receive a task to locate a specific room, building or individual in a known or unknown location. Then, the robot will unite novel language and visual processing in order to navigate the environment, ask for directions, request doors to be opened or elevator buttons pushed and reach its goal.The researchers are developing high-level software to give the robot “common sense knowledge,” the ability to understand objects and environments with human-level intuition, enabling it to recognize navigational conventions. For example, the robot will incorporate both spoken statements and physical gestures into its navigation process. Explore further “The robot needs human level intuition in order to understand navigational conventions,” Ilyevsky said. “This is where common sense knowledge comes in. The robot should know that odd and even numbered rooms sit across from each other in a hallway or that Room 317 should be on the building’s third floor.” To develop the robot’s common sense knowledge, the researches will develop integrative natural language processing and computer vision software. Typically, natural language processing will enable the robot to communicate with people while the computer vision software will enable the robot to navigate its environment. However, the researchers are advancing the software to inform each other as the robot moves.”The robot needs to understand language in a visual context and vision in a language context,” Siskind said. “For example, while locating a specific person, the robot might receive information in a comment or physical gesture and must understand both within the context of its navigational goals.”For instance, if the response is “Check for that person in Room 300,” the robot will need to process the statement in a visual context and identify what room it is currently in as well as the best route to reach Room 300. If the response is “That person is over there” with a physical cue, the robot will need to integrate the visual cue with the statement’s meaning in order to identify Person A.”Interacting with humans is an unsolved problem in artificial intelligence,” Johansen said. “For this project, we are trying to help the robot to understand certain conventions it might run into or to anticipate that a dozen different responses could all have the same meaning.””We expect this technology to be really big, because the industry of autonomous robots and self-driving cars is becoming very big,” Siskind said. “The technology could be adapted into self-driving cars, allowing the cars to ask for directions or passengers to request a specific destination, just like human drivers do.”The researchers expect to send the robot on autonomous missions with growing complexity as the technology progresses. First, the robot will learn to navigate indoors on a single floor. Then, to move to other floors and buildings, it will ask people to operate the elevator or open doors for it. The researchers hope to progress to outdoor missions in the spring. Purdue University researchers in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering are developing integrative language and vision software that may enable an autonomous robot to interact with people in different environments and accomplish navigational goals. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researchers Jared Johansen (left) and Thomas Ilyevsky (right) assess the autonomous robot, Hosh, reviewing the operating systems in the environment. The robot will locate autonomously a room, building or individual through its integrative vision and language software. Credit: Hope Sale / Purdue Research Foundation image Citation: Autonomous robot that interacts with humans using natural language and vision processing (2019, January 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-autonomous-robot-interacts-humans-natural.html How game theory can bring humans and robots closer togetherlast_img read more