A soft touch Related Pneumatic digital logic eliminates the last hard components from robots Army of micro-robots could inspect complex machines without dismantling them In many scenarios for environmental protection or restoration, the opportunity for action is limited by the availability of human labor and by site access for heavy machinery. Smaller, more versatile construction machines could provide a solution. “Clearly, the needs of many degraded landscapes are not being met with the currently available tools and techniques,” said Melenbrink. “Now, 100 years after the dawn of the heavy equipment age, we’re asking whether there might be more resilient and responsive ways to approach land management and restoration.”“This sheet pile driving robot, with its demonstrated ability to perform in a natural setting, signals a path on which the Wyss Institute’s robotics and swarm robotics capabilities can be brought to bear on both natural and man-made environments where conventional machinery, manpower limitations, or cost is inadequate to prevent often disastrous consequences,” said Wyss Institute Director Donald Ingber, who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and the vascular biology program at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as professor of bioengineering at SEAS. “This robot also could address disaster situations where walling off dangerous chemical spills or released radioactive fluids make it difficult or impossible for humans to intervene.” Along developed riverbanks, physical barriers can help contain flooding and combat erosion. In arid regions, check dams can help retain soil after rainfall and restore damaged landscapes. In construction projects, metal plates can provide support for excavations, retaining walls on slopes, or permanent foundations.All of these applications can be addressed with the use of sheet piles, elements folded from flat material and driven vertically into the ground to form walls and stabilize soil. Proper soil stabilization is key to sustainable land management in industries such as construction, mining, and agriculture; and land degradation is a driver of climate change and is estimated to cost up to $10 trillion annually worldwide.With this motivation, a team of roboticists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has developed a robot that can autonomously drive interlocking steel sheet piles into soil. The structures it builds could function as retaining walls or check dams for erosion control. Their study will be presented at the upcoming 2019 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.Conventional sheet pile driving processes are extremely energy intensive. Only a fraction of the weight of typical heavy machinery is used for applying downward force. The Wyss team’s Romu robot, on the other hand, is able to leverage its own weight to drive sheet piles into the ground. This is possible because each of its four wheels is coupled to a separate linear actuator, which also allows it to adapt to uneven terrain and ensure that piles are driven vertically.From a raised position, Romu grips a sheet pile and then lowers its chassis, pressing the pile into the soil with the help of an onboard vibratory hammer. By gripping the pile again at a higher position and repeating this process, the robot can drive a pile much taller than its own range of vertical motion. After driving a pile to sufficient depth, Romu advances and installs the next pile such that it interlocks with the previous one, thereby forming a continuous wall. Once it has used all of the piles it carries, it returns to a supply cache to restock.The study grew out of previous work at the Wyss Institute on teams or swarms of robots for construction applications. In work inspired by mound-building termites, core faculty member and Fred Kavli Professor of Computer Science at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) Radhika Nagpal and senior research scientist Justin Werfel designed an autonomous robotic construction crew called TERMES, whose members function together to build complex structures from specialized bricks.,Further work by Werfel and researcher Nathan Melenbrink explored strut-climbing robots capable of building cantilevering truss structures to address applications like bridges. However, neither of these studies addressed the challenge of anchoring structures to the ground. The Romu project began as an exploration of methods for automated site preparation and installation of foundations for the earlier systems to build on; as it developed, the team determined that such interventions could also be directly applicable to land restoration tasks in remote environments.“In addition to tests in the lab, we demonstrated Romu operating on a nearby beach,” said Melenbrink. “This kind of demonstration can be an icebreaker for a broader conversation around opportunities for automation in construction and land management. We’re interested in engaging with experts in related fields who might see potential benefit for the kind of automated interventions we’re developing.”The researchers envision large numbers of Romu robots working together as a collective or swarm. They demonstrated in computer simulations that teams of Romu robots could make use of environmental cues like slope steepness in order to build walls in diverse locations, making efficient use of limited resources. “The swarm approach gives advantages like speed-up through parallelism, robustness to the loss of individual robots, and scalability for large teams,” said Werfel. “By responding in real time to the conditions they actually encounter as they work, the robots can adapt to unexpected or changing situations without needing to rely on a lot of supporting infrastructure for abilities like site surveying, communication, or localization.”“The name Terramanus ferromurus (Romu) is a nod to the concept of ‘machine ecology,’ in which autonomous systems can be introduced into natural environments as new participants, taking specific actions to complement and promote human environmental stewardship,” said Melenbrink.In the future, the Terramanus “genus” could be extended by additional robots carrying out different tasks to protect or restore ecosystem services, which are the direct or indirect contributions of ecosystems to human well-being. Based on their findings, the team now is interested in investigating interventions ranging from groundwater retention structures for supporting agriculture in arid regions to responsive flood-barrier construction for hurricane preparedness. Future versions of the robot could perform other interventions, such as spraying soil-binding agents or installing silt fencing, so that a family of these robots could act to stabilize soil in a wide range of situations. Robots with sticky feet can go where humans can’t
Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.HANOVER – All westbound and eastbound lanes of I-90 between exits 57 and 58 are currently closed as State Police say they are continuing an investigation into a menacing complaint involving a shotgun.Police say, at approximately 9:35 a.m., they located and stopped a vehicle in question near mile marker 455.1 westbound. After a physical confrontation with Troopers, police say the suspect was taken into custody. transported for treatment.Several weapons and a suspicious package were located in the vehicle. The State Police Bomb Disposal Unit were called to the scene to assist with the investigation.Police say the roads will be closed until the scene is clear. More information will be released when it becomes available.Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Related Shows ‘Holiday Inn’ star Corbin Bleu(Photo: Terry Doyle) View Comments Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 15, 2017 It’s about to be a Bleu Christmas (and a Bleu Fourth of July, a Bleu Thanksgiving, a Bleu Easter, etc.) thanks to Holiday Inn star Corbin Bleu. The Broadway alum and High School Musical favorite is grabbing a camera as Broadway.com’s newest vlogger. Get ready for Bleu Skies: Backstage at Holiday Inn with Corbin Bleu.Bleu, who plays Ted in the new Irving Berlin musical, will give us a glimpse of backstage life at Studio 54, where he and his co-stars (including former vlogger Bryce Pinkham, Lora Lee Gayer, Megan Lawrence and Megan Sikora) celebrate an entire year’s worth of special occasions eight times a week.Bleu made his Broadway debut as Usnavi in In the Heights and went on to appear in Godspell. In addition to the High School Musical series, his screen credits include Flight 29 Down, Jump In!, One Life to Live and Megachurch Murder.Bleu Skies will launch off on August 23 and run every Tuesday for eight weeks.
Georgia is already one of the world’s top exporters of poultry, timber and nuts, like pecans and peanuts. As Georgia farmers move into the international market, global demand, supply and weather patterns have more of an effect on the way they do business. “We are becoming the bread basket of the world,” said University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean J. Scott Angle. “But to be the breadbasket of world we have to be able to get the food out of Georgia to the people who want to buy it.” “This is the right thing to do, to feed a hungry world — to feed people who need what we can produce. It is certainly a humanitarian effort, and it’s something that we have a moral obligation to do, but it’s also an economic opportunity.” As more of the world begins to earn a middle class wage, the worldwide market for Georgia’s poultry, beef and highly sought after snacks — like pecans — is growing. Economists discussed Georgia’s growing export strength at a series of Georgia agricultural forecast meetings held over the past week in locations across the state. They believe tapping these new markets is the key to growing Georgia agriculture, which is already the largest industry in the state and in two-thirds of Georgia’s 159 counties. Georgia’s agricultural exports have grown from $1.15 billion in 2006 to close $3 billion in 2012. Right now 39 percent of the freight being shipped out of the Port of Savannah is agricultural and wood products.One in three acres planted in the U.S. is grown for the international market. The relatively weak dollar will also help fuel exports throughout 2013. While agriculture’s long-term future may be dictated by growing global markets, the 2013 growing season in Georgia depends on whether the Midwest breaks free from the drought that ravaged its croplands last year. “You don’t need an economist this year to tell you what will happen. You just need someone who can tell you whether or not it’s going to rain,” said Curt Lacy, a CAES Extension economist. GrainsWith grain stocks dwindling because of the 2012 drought, prices for corn, wheat and soybeans are up. While Georgia farmers aren’t known as large grain producers, they will be taking advantage of these prices. Rising prices for poultry and beef should ease the increase in feed prices for animal producers, while row crop producers should benefit directly from increased grain prices. Georgia farmers saw record corn and soybean yields in 2012 and are expected to plant more acres of wheat, corn and soybeans this year. Corn acreage is expected to reach 450,000 acres in 2013, up from 300,000 acres in 2010. Soybeans are expected to reach 400,000 acres, up from 270,000 acres in 2010. Wheat is expected to reach 350,000 acres, up from 170 acres in 2010. PeanutsMost farmers will shift land production away from peanuts. Farmers planted near record acres of peanuts in 2012 and experienced record yields, producing a glut of peanuts that will drive down the price until the market can absorb the surplus. Farmers are expected to plant about 470,000 acres of peanuts this year, down from 730,000 in 2012. Peanut exports are expected to rise by 50 percent because of the surplus and the weak dollar, making them affordable for the rest of the world. Cotton Cotton prices will be dictated by world cotton stocks, and whether Chinese cotton traders decide to retain or sell their large stockpile of cotton. If they hold on to their cotton, prices will remain stable at between 75 to 85 cents a pound. If they sell stocks, prices could sink to between 65 and 75 cents per pound. Georgia farmers will likely plant about 15 percent fewer acres of cotton in 2013. Cotton acreage rose to 1.6 million acres in 2011, following a $2 a pound price spike in 2010. With prices decreasing, acreage fell to 1.29 million acres in 2012. Planted acreage for 2013 is predicted to be 1.2 million acres.CattleWith grain prices high and hay in short supply last year, ranchers in the Midwest and parts of Georgia sold off parts of their cattle herds. Therefore, the number of cattle is expected to stay low in 2013. Despite expanding international demand for beef and relatively short supplies, beef prices should stay fairly stable in 2013, but expect a sharp rise in 2014.Milk prices will stay at 2012 levels or rise slightly, depending on the price of grain throughout the year. PoultryPoultry companies are expected to place slightly more broiler chicks in production in 2013, but supplies will be kept stable enough to maintain slightly higher prices. Broilers should go for between 90 and 96 cents a pound this year, up from about 86 cents a pound. For more details about the agricultural outlook for Georgia in 2013 visit georgiaagforecast.com.
Today, the Department of Labor published in the Federal Register a Final Rule regarding the labor certification process required under the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program. This Final Rule amends regulatory changes to the program introduced in December 2008. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Department of Labor must ensure that U.S. workers are provided access to the jobs, and that both U.S. and foreign workers are provided with appropriate worker protections. This Final Rule reflects the Administration’s commitment to providing fair wages and strong labor protections for all workers.On September 4, 2009 the Department published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend the 2008 regulations. The comment period was initially planned to end on October 5, 2009 but was extended to October 20, 2009. The Department received approximately 7,000 comments on this rule. Among many other provisions, this rule:increases access to job opportunities for U.S. workers by increasing coordination with state workforce agenciesprovides transparency by creating a national electronic job registry where job orders will be posted by the Departmentraises wages for foreign workers by reinstating the use of USDA wage surveys andincreases oversight and enforcement powers to ensure that the worker protection requirements of the H-2A program are enforced.We have provided a fact sheet summarizing the Final Rule, as well as a document with many of the questions and answers concerning this rulemaking. You can find the text of the Final Rule by going to the following link:http://www.federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2010-02731_PI.pdf(link is external) .We hope this document will be of assistance to you and would be happy to help answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact DOL’s Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at (202) 693-4600 or email at [email protected](link sends e-mail). Source: Leahy’s office. WASHINGTON (Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on Thursday said he will introduce legislation to address the US Department of Labor’s new rules that exclude the dairy industry from eligibility for certification in the seasonal agricultural worker program, called H-2A visas.“I am deeply disappointed with the Department of Labor’s final rule on H-2A agricultural workers,” said Leahy. “This rule falls short, leaving dairy farms in the lurch. With the dairy industry reeling in Vermont and across the nation, the final rule continues to exclude the dairy industry from lawfully hiring seasonal foreign workers when needed. The agency claims that because dairy workers are needed year-round, they do not fit the ‘temporary or seasonal’ definition of an H-2A worker. Nonetheless, the Department continues to allow certain other year-round agricultural workers access to the program and has added H-2A coverage to logging workers in this final rule. This exemption is unreasonable and inexplicable, especially when the final rule itself observes that ‘Congress clearly gave the Secretary [of Labor] authority to define agricultural labor and services through regulation.’ They have punted this issue away, and now Congress has even more of an obligation to step in to fix it, as difficult as doing that may be.”In its new rules on seasonal agricultural workers released Thursday, the Labor Department said it has “no legal authority” to include the entire dairy industry in the H-2A visa program. The H-2A program allows farmers to lawfully hire foreign workers when needed, to help keep American farms productive. Dairy farmers have been unable to take advantage of the H-2A visa program due to the year-round nature of dairy farming.Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the most senior member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, said Thursday that he will introduce legislation to make explicit that dairy workers are eligible to work under the H-2A program. The bill will also provide that this unique class of workers be eligible to remain in the United States for an initial period of one year and be eligible for additional one-year periods, as approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Under Leahy’s proposed legislation, workers will be able to petition to become lawful permanent residents after three consecutive one-year periods.“This bill will make explicit in law that dairy farms can use the H-2A program, ensuring that dairy farmers in Vermont and throughout the nation can find the labor they need to stay in business, meeting the needs of their communities and the nation’s families,” said Leahy. Leahy has led efforts to include dairy workers in the H-2A visa program. Last October he submitted comments to the Department of Labor in its rulemaking process for this rule, urging the Department to make full use of its authority and extend H-2A visas to dairy workers. In 2006 and 2007 Leahy authored and included legislation to fix the H-2A dairy exemption in the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bills to alleviate the inequity caused by the Department of Labor’s interpretation of law. He is a leading sponsor of the bill he and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and others have introduced – the AgJOBS bill — which offers a comprehensive overhaul of the H-2A visa program and which includes Leahy’s provision to fix the dairy exemption. Feinstein and Leahy reintroduced their bill last year.# # # # #(Department of Labor notice is below, for reference)
China considering plans to speed clean energy transition FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:China is considering proposals to accelerate its adoption of clean energy as part of its next five-year plan that begins in 2021, as the world’s biggest polluter takes steps to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases.China’s current goal is to derive as much as 20% of its primary energy use from non-fossil fuels by 2030. One option under consideration is to bring forward that target, according to people familiar with the discussions who asked not to be identified, possibly to 2025. Another proposal is to cut the share of coal in the energy mix to 52% by 2025, from the 57.5% planned for the end of this year, one of the people said.The nation’s top leadership will next month lay out its broad strategy for 2021-2025, with specific details to be released in March next year. The new energy policy is likely to be an exercise in juggling the sometimes competing demands of delivering economic growth, promoting energy security and mitigating the worst effects of global warming.Promoting renewables at the expense of dirty energy like coal doesn’t necessarily mean that consumption of fossil fuels would fall, as total power needs rise as the economy expands. Unlike other major economies, China is expected to show some growth this year as it emerges more quickly than other countries from the coronavirus pandemic.Still, China has done a little better than it expected in its transition to clean energy so far, even as it remains the world’s biggest miner and consumer of coal. The share of non-fossil fuels in the energy mix was 15.3% in 2019, surpassing the 15% goal set for 2020.Chinese renewable energy stocks have been on a tear on speculation that Beijing could increase its requirements for solar and wind power. Bringing forward the 20% target to 2025 could see solar installations more than triple from 2019 levels to 105 gigawatts a year, while wind could almost double to 48 gigawatts, Zhu Yue, an analyst at Industrial Securities Co., said in a note.More: China mulls stronger clean energy goals for next five years
By Dialogo July 01, 2010 Some of the topics discussed during the visits included port security, professional development for noncommissioned officers, operational risk management, medical readiness, outboard motor maintenance and patrol craft operation. “The U.S. Navy and USSOUTHCOM are committed to these multi-nation partnerships,” Capt. Kurt Hedberg, mission commander of SPS 2010 said. “It gives all of us a chance to exchange ideas, mission-focused knowledge and expertise to improve capabilities in key mission areas. This sort of multi-national cooperation is vital to successful maritime operations today and in the future.” U.S. Navy Sailors and Marines on the Swift also conducted exchanges with subject matter experts from the region. During the SPS deployment, the Swift visited Barbados, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and Suriname. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the U.S. Navy, along with the U.S. Embassy, for this donation,” Wendy Allen-Davis, senior medical officer at the Port Antonio Hospital said. “We hope that we will continue this partnership and that we can also look forward for these gifts we are so very grateful for in the future.” While in port, personnel aboard the Swift participated in Project Handclasp, a U.S. Navy program that transports educational, humanitarian and goodwill material aboard U.S. Navy ships for distribution to foreign nations. Pallets and two fire engines were donated to Nicaragua by the Wisconsin National Guard State Partnership Program for transportation, and Sailors aboard the Swift delivered medical supplies and equipment to the local hospital in Port Antonio, Jamaica. High Speed Vessel Swift, or HSV 2, along with various Navy and Marine Corps units, departed Naval Station Mayport in Florida on May, 2010 to conduct a five-month mission to participate in Southern Partnership Station 2010, an annual deployment to boost information sharing in the Caribbean and Latin America. SPS focuses on information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region.
37 Wackett Street, Pallarenda“The house we had in Sydney, you had to climb at least 50 steps to get to the front door, which wasn’t always a lot of fun,” Mr Carter recalls.“So we knew we didn’t want that again. We wanted a lowset home with a pool for the kids and, having always loved the ocean, a home that was near the beach.“When we bought this home it was near-new, only about three or four years old and it had everything we wanted.“We really enjoyed living here and like Pallarenda a great deal, but we’re now both in our 80s and wanting something a bit smaller and looking to move to the RSL villas.”More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020 37 Wackett Street, PallarendaListed for a negotiable price of $419,000, the home sits on a spacious 708sq m block which backs on to a large landscaped parkland. The property consists of two separate dwellings, with the main house featuring multiple airconditioned living areas with a sunroom adjoining the lounge and dining room serviced by the functional kitchen. There are also three bedrooms, all with built-ins, storage in hallway and bathroom with plunge spa bath and separate toilet.The second dwelling has a large airconditioned bedroom complete with shower and toilet. There is a large workshop on the end of this building and a covered entertaining area that overlooks the inground saltwater pool. It’s a great place to take a dip and cool off on our sunny North Queensland days. The property also has its own bore to keep your lawns green all year round. WHEN Brad and Lee Carter relocated from Sydney to Townsville in 1976, there was never a doubt about the kind of home they wanted to buy to raise their two children.That dream home was none other than 37 Wackett St, Pallarenda, where the couple has now lived for 40 years.With the Carters now in their 80s and their children having left the family home some time ago, the couple are looking to downsize and hand over the keys to a worthy buyer.
Image source: Town of Surfside BeachThe Town of Surfside Beach, SC, has just released the latest update on their beach renourishment project, saying that the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company (GLDD) will be completing the northern end of the project by the beginning of this week.“They will then reverse the direction of the 6th Avenue North feed pipe, and pump southbound,” according to the town’s announcement.Due to efficiencies in the pumping system, GLDD will not switch feed pipes to the 13th Avenue South pipe, but instead continue southward through town utilizing the existing 6th Avenue North pipe, extending as they go along.The 13th South feed pipe will be relocated further south in Garden City.[mappress mapid=”24363″]
When Oscar Robertson was evidently misinterpreted in a recent interview, the question of his basketball feats compared to Stephen Curry’s feats was the subject of much argument again. As you might know, Oscar averaged a triple/double for his career. Curry has been pouring in 50+ points in a game quite frequently. So, you hear a lot about double/doubles, triple/doubles, and quadruple/doubles. What do these terms mean?A double/double usually occurs when a big man gets 10+ points and 10+ rebounds in a game. In the case of a guard, this is usually 10+ points and 10+ assists. A triple/double simply means you add a third double-digit stat to your total. For the rare quadruple/double you would need something like 10+ points, 10+ rebounds, 10+ blocks, and 10+ assists.To this date, only Oscar has accomplished the triple/double for his career. He averaged nearly 30 points per game, 10+ rebounds, and 10+ assists in his career. That is why he still feels no one, including Curry, has matched his feat.