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tv   Click  BBC News  November 12, 2017 4:30am-5:00am GMT

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this is bbc news — the headlines: president trump has been meeting his vietnamese counterpart, tran dai quang, on the latest leg of his asian tour. in a joint news conference, mr trump praised vietnam's economic reforms. prior to that he posted another message on social media about north korea and its leader kim jong—un. the husband of a british woman jailed in iran has told the bbc he will speak to the foreign secretary on sunday. nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe is accused of spying. her family fears her sentence could be extended after comments from borisjohnson gave the false impression she'd been teaching journalism. hundreds of thousands of catalans have protested in barcelona — calling for the release of pro—independence politicians and activists who've been detained by the spanish courts. the spanish prime minister mariano rajoy will visit catalonia on sunday to start campaigning for upcoming elections. now on bbc news — click.
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this week, caveman, moon rabbit, space turtle! welcome to china, to shenzhen. believe it or not, this place was once a small fishing village. yeah... not anymore. now, it's a mega—city of nearly 20 million people. it's most famous for creating consumer electronics, often imitations of premium brands. but as china has opened its doors to international trade in the last
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decade, it has undergone a transformation, making strides toward becoming a global power and moving away from that image of being a simple manufacturer of good, fake or otherwise, to one of innovation, especially of tech. "made in china" is fast becoming "designed in china." next week, we'll visit some of the companies that call shenzhen home, but this week, we are meeting this guy. this is little cloud, and recently, he's gone where no turtle has gone before. he's just completed a test flight of a journey that one day might take humans to near space. this is kuang—chi's traveller project. we have seen this kind of stratospheric helium project before.
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we visited worldview in the us back in february to see their enormous inflatable. i think you have the world's biggest table. and a spanish outfit, zero to infinity, is also trying something similar. so why does the traveller project's director feel he can beat them to it. we want to be the first one. we need to try hard to become the first one. because, in shenzhen, the environment is very good, and a lot of people want to do big things. and the government supports us. so, i think that shenzhen gives us a very good environment to accelerate the progress. the secret, though, is also in the science. now, the balloon material looks quite ordinary,
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but of course, it's not. it is a special kind of polyethylene which has to resist the low, low temperatures of the stratosphere, damaging effects of ultraviolet and ozone. and it also needs to be able to stop the really, really tiny molecules of helium from escaping. this kind of space tourism is billed as being cheaper and safer than rocket—based alternatives being trialled by virgin galactic and spacex. normal people, even older ones, can do this. you don't need a strong body. you must be very strong to be an astronaut and train for many days and years. however, this does not need that. why did you choose a turtle? ah, that's a good question. because the turtle has a long life. sometimes it can be living for more than 100 years! the turtle can live in water,
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it can survive in an low—oxygen environment. we put the turtle in the water. not so much. is it cruel to send a turtle up there? hmm... what can i say? ijust say we need to do this kind of experiment before human beings in the near space. we need to pick up a kind of animal. hmm... well, as usual, not a great life being an animal involved in human exploration. while these guys are busy trying to win a race to space, others are trying to put a rover on the moon. and, fortunately, this time, it's not a real dog. now, you may remember earlier in the year we visited the indian
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space start—up, indus, in their bangalore warehouse. they are one of five teams competing for a $20 million prize if they are the first company to land and drive a robot on the moon. and one thing we learned while we were there was that to save costs, they're sharing their rocket space with a japanese competitor, ispace. well, now we're paying them a visit to find out how they think they're going to win. this is the space suit. and this is a hammer to break something. 0k. well, with the important stuff out of the way, time to talk space. what inspired you to enter this challenge? i have always been interested in space. i worked for a firm that one weekend asked me, why don't you help
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in the lunar race? it may be a small operation, but what they lack in size they certainly make up for in style. it is notjust the skyhigh rents of tokyo responsible for the diminished dimensions of the office, it is also because their plan to hitch a ride on the team indus lander means ispace only have to build the rover, ideally one that is faster than team indus. a depth camera is being designed to recognise unexpected rocks and stop before it collides with anything. and because of a communications delay ofjust over a second, it will be steered and moved one step at a time to give everyone time to think as it gradually moves across the surface. mind you, you still need the very best pilots and technicians in the business to command and strive this thing. looks like i'm going to scrape that rock. seriously? oh, man!
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this isjust a demo unit for numpties like me to use, but the real prototype is being developed just across the office in the clean room. and the one they build next will be the one that actually goes to the moon, well, if nothing goes wrong, say, by letting me touch it. it is so light. just four kilograms. remarkable. i am john walker, the chief engineer. the worst thing that can happen is we go to the moon and for whatever reason we don't get any function. we are trying to win, but at the end of the day, we want to keep going back to the moon again and again. so we need that starting point, we need data. we need simulations. that is why a huge part of the mission‘s costs goes towards testing, and that means rigorous checks on the bespoke wheels, control systems, electronics, and perhaps most crucially of all, the communication system. of course, it is notjust team indus
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and hakuto in the competition, there is america's moon express, israel's space il, and synergy moon, made up of six continents. they all have contracts, but when they take off is anyone‘s guess. it is very secretive. no—one is telling anyone else when they are going to launch. what happens if you find out they launch in november? you can't bring it forward anyway. it is possible. however, it is very difficult to launch without any notification beforehand. so, i'm still very... i am sometimes nervous when they will make an announcement. yeah. just like the other teams, ispace is about more than just one mission to the moon.
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they are hoping that the data they gather and the skills they learn could have much more profound complications after the mission whether they win or not. —— implications. we recognise this race isjust the start of everything in the future. and we think that the moon is the best place to mine resources and then supply resources such as fuel into space. this is the first step for this establishment. there is certainly a lot that could go wrong. besides the perils of space, they still need to waste a huge deal of cash here on terra firma before anything can take off. one thing is for sure, though. we are so excited about this race to the moon. but what has become apparent is it is notjust about getting there first, it is notjust about the prize money, it is just as important to get data
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back and build up this knowledge to be able to go there again and again and again in the future. and when these guys launch, we are going to bring that to you. this week in the tech world, a british inventor set the first world speed record for flying a body—controlled jet engine power suit. and weimo have admitted they are getting rid of the human safety drivers who usually sit in the front in case cars malfunction. there will however be a human sitting in the back of the car for the time being at least. humans may not be the most helpful.
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to access floors in a building. it has been described as a good robot. they want the skills to be used for search and rescue missions in the future. it is not 2017 without a robot that can call a lift. and in true 2017 fashion, uber announced they have joined forces to build autonomous flying taxis. they say they will be completely electric and will be used at the 2028 olympics in los angeles. we'll see. mmm, that's pretty good.
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but this week, i have been taking a look at some technology that aims to question your perception of taste. here at the university of sussex, levitating food is being served up. yes, that's right, liquids and solids can float in thin air before being directly fed into your mouth. it works through high frequency sound from ultrasonic speakers creating a trap for food in midair. the idea being that the heat generated by the sound waves could make flavour more intense. i put it to the test trying identical samples of each taste from a pipette, and then the device. it tastes sweet.
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sorry, there is no delicate way of doing this. did you get it? yes, and i would say that that was more intense. wow. this time, we've got cereal and milk. breakfast time. did you get it? yes, and it tasted very sweet. yes, i think it's sweetened cereal. but considering how small the pieces were that i ate, i did get a lot of flavour from them. but, there is the fact i was concentrating more than i normally would when eating cereal. this is an interesting taste experience you have in the lab. i know you want it in the real world to make it possible for a chef to make something and then directly transfer it into somebody‘s mouth. that is the inspiration. we are trying to figure out how to do that. i can show you a model for it now. this mimics the presentation.
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when the chef is finished cooking, he puts it in one side and he can control it. like how fast you release the item. it makes it a desirable experience. as you can see, it's a lot smaller than most of the 3—d printers we've shown you on the programme, and it'll create a substance that looks something like this. a small, edible bite of caviar—like consistency. this one is made from passion fruit, but you can use any sort of natural ingredient to create intense flavours, and the app will guide you through what flavours might go together. inside the machine right now are some concentrated passionfruit.
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for the sake of demonstration i am going to try to create something that looks like a berry but tastes like passionfruit. maybe i'll impress some guests with it. let's give it a go. i create the shape that i want here on the app. the phone is connected via bluetooth to the device, so to get it going, ijust press the play button. that took under five minutes to come together. quite fascinating to watch. as the pieces went in i wasn't convinced they were going to stick together. the structure isn't perfect, i will admit, but the big question is, how does it taste? it is just made from passionfruit, so it should taste of passionfruit. which it does, but rather than tasting of concentrated passionfruit, i would say that actually tastes a bit diluted. that's probably because some of the water is still in with it. howeverflavoursome, or not, the device's creations may have been, in their current form they don't muster up
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a great deal of food. so i did finish filming rather looking forward to lunch. welcome to the seg electronics megamarket in shenzen. it's one of many in asia, and it's here that you come to buy anything and everything electronic. this is also where you can bulk buy new components for manufacturing a new device. this is we get lithium ion batteries for your laptops, smartphones — anything, really. but what if you didn't need these at all? we created the first battery—free phone, which harvests enough power from ambient light and ambient rf signal so that we can completely power the whole phone byjust ambient rf energy. and elemental batteries.
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you can make a phone call to another cell phone or another landline. by stripping back components to the bare minimum, vamsi and his team have successfully made calls over skype. they take advantage of something called analogue backscatter, which reflects pre—existing waves found all around us to communicate a message. right now this only works in the lab, but the team are working on improving its range beyond ten metres. for the moment, batteries do thejob. but we all wish we could charge that little bit faster, and last longer. especially when it comes to electric vehicles, which takes several hours to charge. and the race is most definitely on. japanese giant toshiba has just unveiled a prototype of its next—generation supercharged ion battery made of a unique material. the company claims this battery of titanium oxide will charge injust six minutes, and deliver a range of over 200
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miles on a single charge. but it will be a couple of years yet until we see real results. and in the event of a natural disaster, being cut off from the grid is something that can be life—threatening. post—puerto rico disaster, tesla boss elon musk has stepped in, offering a free battery grid for a hospital on the weatherbeaten island. he's also halfway through his 100—day challenge to install the world's biggest battery grid in australia. tesla says so far, so good. but it's not all rosy for musk. recent production of his model 3 car has stalled due to battery installation issues. only 222 vehicles were built in this year's third quarter, way below the 1,500 targets, leading to lawsuits and drops in share value. but how about this? a battery made of air.
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yes, air. deep in the swiss alps there is a solution which could be about to be rolled out to the masses. nick kwek took a deeper look. i'm on my way to this guy's batcave. no, he's not the swiss bruce wayne. he has a cave that acts like a giant battery. this is the mountain where our plant is. wow. yes, quite enormous. i'm being given a private tour of his prototype power plant, which harnesses the power of compressed air. welcome to our tunnel. oh, my goodness. yeah. we drive now 700 metres. that is where the plant begins. so we're not actually going deeper underground? we'rejust going further
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into the mountainside? exactly. the further you get into the mountain, the more rock and mountain is above you, so we can hold the pressure that you are building in the plant. the system works by pumping air into the side of a mountain and storing it tightly until there is a demand for electricity. like a battery, it springs into action when you need power, releasing the air rapidly through turbines which generate the electricity. here we basically already have the hard, compressed air, flowing through these pipes. as you can see, that's quite insulated. we have the valves to control the flow, and on the other side you can see that plug, closing the plant. soaring energy harvested from renewable sources to use later means we can have electricity when the sun is down or there is no wind.
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this is where the magic happens? yeah. this is the first plug, 100 metres, 120 metres down the line, we have the exact same plug to seal off the two ends of the chamber. it's 6.8 tons. 0h, pretty easy to move, then. that puts your strength to the test. let's get it running. what! ? my goodness. that's crazy. do not wanna be in here when it's filled up with all that air. there are already two functioning power plants which utilise existing compression tech. one in germany, and one in the united states. but this system has improved efficiency by over 30%, and the secret behind it is this
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giant concrete block — and what's inside it. so all that hot hair that's piped in comes here to the thermal chamber that's chock—a—block full of 75 tons of gravel. as the air comes in, it cools down as it transfers that each to the gravel inside. the cold air comes out of this hole in the ground, which fills up this massive, 120 metres long tunnel. it's stored here until there is a need for power, at which point a valve is opened and the air rushes back through the gravel, reheating and expanding in the process, so it's warm enough to safely turn the turbines. that's the kicker. we can increase the efficiency of the system from the 40% of the existing plants to above 70% in our case. this prototype only generates 1 megawatt of energy, which is a tiny fraction of the several hundred found in regular—sized power plants. and you need a mountain with a ready—made cave drilled into its side to work.
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this current prototype could potentially power 100 homes for one hour with 1k of discharge. but it's scalable, which means that if you scale that 100 times, it could power the nearby city of lugano for half a day. we are hoping to commercialise it. it can absolutely be a component of the national grid or even the european grid. this technology is not limited to switzerland. it will be applied in other places around the world, where it is necessary to dispatch the production and consumption of renewable energy. that was nick. we will have more from shenzhen in next week's programme. now, here's a thing, if you've ever wanted to meet us and see us perform live, you're in luck. make a note of this address. this is where you go to get tickets for the forthcoming click live show, which is happening very soon. you'll be able to say hi to us, and you can also experience some
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of the things you've seen on the programme live. tickets are running out, so that's where you go. do it now. we look forward to seeing you there. thanks for watching. we will see you soon. this is how we start remembrance sunday, cloudy with some outbreaks of rain down to the south. not quite as cold here but clearer skies and a few wintry showers to the far north, with temperatures just a couple of degrees above freezing. now, that cold air is going to continue to push its way steadily south across the whole of england and wales as we go through remembrance sunday. so it's worth bearing in mind, if you're up and off early, we could see a scattering of showers, some of those running down through the cheshire gap to the midlands and maybe into the south—east but hopefully they will ease away in time for remembrance sunday
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services at the cenotaph. but it's worth bearing in mind there could be an isolated rogue shower still floating around. elsewhere, if you are heading for remembrance sunday services, most likely chance of seeing some showers at 11 o'clock in the morning is through wales and maybe one or two into south—west england, and elsewhere should be dry. cold, yes, you'll need to wrap up warm. nevertheless there should be good spells of sunshine. a few isolated showers across the east coast of northern ireland. and one or two filtering in through the northern isles and the far north of scotland. some of these will still have a wintry flavour mixed in there. and it is going be accompanied by a brisk north north—westerly wind, driving in the potential of a few showers along the north sea coast and one or two continuing in wales and south—west england through the day. sandwiched in between the two, it's dry, it's settled, it's sunny but it's crisp. top temperatures of around 6—10 degrees. as we move out of remembrance sunday into monday, it's going to turn colder still with winds falling light and high—pressure just quietening things down
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and killing off the showers. so we're going to see another frost — another hard frost — yet again, for monday morning with temperatures in rural parts of scotland down to lows of —5. that is important because we're expecting more cloud and rain to push in to the north—western. 0n the leading edge of it, we could see some snow, maybe some significant snow for a time. we need to keep an eye on that. things a little more straightforward further south. it's going to cloud over a little, it's going to be largely dry but not particularly warm, with highs of 5—10 degrees. that weather front continues to push its way south and east, out of monday, into tuesday. introducing milder weather but also the potentialfor a little bit of light rain. so we start our new week cold and frosty, but it will turn milder with some more rain to come. take care. this is bbc news. i'm duncan golestani. our top stories: donald trump's tour of asia continues, but even as he spoke to vietnam's president north korea loomed large. the husband of a british—iranian womanjailed in tehran is to meet the british foreign secretary on sunday.
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protests in barcelona — thousands call for the release of pro—independence leaders. spain's prime minister will visit catalonia on sunday. and brothers reunited — the two argentine men who met by chance decades after being given up for adoption.
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