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tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  April 26, 2015 12:30pm-1:01pm EDT

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identify with to succeed in the middle east. kristin saloomey al jazeera, new york. >> you will find plenty more news and sport over on our website. the address to click on to is aljazeera.com. aljazeera.com. update of news and sport for you 24 hours a day.
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science. ♪ music ♪ ] hey, guys, welcome to "techknow", i'm phil torres joined by dr crystal dilworth,
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marita davison and cara santa maria. this week cara and i went on a little adventure, there is a home called the honda smart home and it's probably the most eco-friendly energy-efficient house on the planet. most people take a tour, check it out. carr ep and i decided -- karen and i decided to take it to the party. >> for science? >> absolutely for science. . >> reporter: believe it or not, cara and i are doing this for science. and this. and even this. admit it. >> smart tv. >> smart cara. >> we are pioneer guests in the 1944 square foot laboratory for sustainable living. honda teamed up with the davis. >> we want to get to a zero carbon future.
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>> if this is what zero carbon awesome. >> this is a honda smart moment. >> welcome. >> the ground floor is full of furniture made from stapable materials. the floor, concrete, was constructed in a way to reduce carbon emissions. the kitchen is sleek modern filled with modern appliances. upstairs, two bathrooms, a master with a killer bathroom. another standard room. i have my eye on the master. why is honda in the house business, to build a home to power itself and an electric car with energy to spare. michael con. >> g is the project leader. >> honda's involvement indicates that they are interested in more than just cars in the future.
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>> as we get more electric vehicles we'll have to be more careful in the way they integrate with the house and the electrical grid. putting the house and car together as a system, the system parts. >> honda is not releasing the cost of their smart home, without his experimental technology, it would be similar to other high-end homes in davis. >> what is it like for people to come and stay the night? >> this will be the first night for anyone besides myself to stay here. >> we are doing the first outside slumber party. >> you are the first overnight gets. >> i get the big room. >> once i'm at the big bedroom... ..in the name of science i decided to take the fit ev for a spun.
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♪ music ♪ ] with most cars you have to drive to a gas station to fill up and re-energise. with this guy i drive it home, plug it in, and the sun does the rest of the work. i'm kinda digging it. hopefully carol will let me drive this around for a while. that must be cara. >> hello. i'm having way too much fun driving around town right now. >> i want to drive the electric car, bring it back. >> you got it. see you soon. while cara took a spin. >> bye. don't wait up. >> michael showed me how the house is built to make the most of the sun - whether it's low in winter or high in summer. >> we have all these lovely
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south-facing windows, but they are shaded. when we get into summer we don't get heat gape. but in the -- gain, but in the energy. >> the solar panels are on top. >> we have a little bit of modern form. form following function. we want as much space as possible for the solar panels. >> on a sunny day the solar panels can produce as much as double the energy that the house needs. here is where some of it goes. >> this is where it happens. >> the right side is a 10 kilowatt lithowin battery. we can store and charge the car and buffer the energy flow to the grid. >> if there's clouds here, and you weren't pulling from the grid. how long could this charmge the house or the car? >> depends what you do in the house. if it's off the battery you can run 10-15 hours. the bruins of the house is
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this -- brains of the house is this - a home energy management system. a prototype built by honda to balance sly and demand -- supply and demand. >> the integration is happening - 250 channels. all the temperatures, the electric loads, water flows monitored and recorded. >> what was the clicking. >> it's the way the data logger picks through the channels. >> while phil got the big picture from michael. jonathan, an engineer at uc davidson's we were cooling center showed me some of the houses cutting edge technology. >> we are heating and cooling. >> this is in lieu of having traditional central heating. >> absolutely. instead of moving thermal energy around with air, we move around with water, delivering the heating and cooling through the floors and ceiling. >> if there's cold water
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swimming underneath and above colder. >> also, significantly, it's impacted by the temperature of the surfaces in the room. >> one of the experimental systems that uc davis is testing in the lab is here, underneath the backyard. four 20-foot deep holes have been drilled into the ground creating a geothermal system. >> we drop a felix of fluid, running back to the heat bump. it's taking thermal energy from the ground, because the cold water may be going in at 45 and 50 degrees, and the ground is 55 or 60 degrees. >> if it's a slight differential the ground is warm enough to put that energy into the water inside of those tubes. >> exactly. >> and in this house nothing gets wasted.
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not even the heat from the water. instead, it goes into this heat recovery system. >> so the hot drain water runs down the inside of a perfectly straight pipe, and the cold water that is coming into the house wraps around the outside of that drape line. >> so as -- drain line. as it comes in it warms up, taking less energy later to make it hotter if we needed tox. >> exactly. >> brilliant. nice and cool in here. then there's the lighting system, solid state led and five times more efficient than conventional lighting. they are designed to work with our own body clock. you designed all the light in the honda smart house. >> yes, we are wired internally to have lots of daylight in the morning, okay. >> that's blue lights. >> at night time you want to do the reverse, limit the blue light.
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you want lights that are warm and bias towards the red. the whole house quitens down, spectrum. >> the lights are designed to make us look good. >> people want a warm glow to the light bulb. i want to look in the mirror and do my make-up. i notice the colours are vibrant. now, my first impression of this house, i was impressed with agree? >> i want to move into it. it was beautifully designed. the architecture was amazing, the interior decor ration was amazing. we realised that every square inch of that home was intentional. it was deliberate, it was designed in an eco conscious way you. >> even the insulation they use
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was 85% cycled newspapers and denim. they were so thought. in their attention to detail. >> a lot of the technology has been around for a while. what is it that - talking the house to the next level? >> the home energy management system, communicating with the power grid, solar panels, car, every circuit in the house, tweaking each one to add a 5% efficiency even, that's where it stands out. >> a cool thing - a lot of houses lose energy because there's leaks - there's cracks in the walls, windows don't seal and a builder has to go through and cork up what they don't find. in this house there was an ingenious approach. they pressure ice the home, spray in a nitrogen solution that goes to the cracks, when they depressurized, they knew it
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was totally sealed. >> was there differents that you notices because the house as so special? >> no, everywhere from the hvac to the lighting to the electric design, the intention was to maybe the house feel warm, inviting and liveable. in many ways they thought about the feeling of the home before they thought about how to make that feeling energy efficient. >> i mean, we were living in experiments. you guys were about to see us next at a slumber party in that experiment. break. >> we want to hear what you think about these stories. join the conversation. follow us on twitter and s on >> al jazeera america brings you a first hand look at the environmental issues, and new understanding of our changing world. >> it's the very beginning >> this was a storm of the decade >>...hurricane... >> we can save species... >> our special month long
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focus, fragile planet
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[ ♪ music ♪ the honda smart home in the west village at uc davis, almost 2,000 square feet of technology and progressive structural design. cara and i were honoured with the privilege of being the first overnight guests. >> i get the big room. laughs laughs. >> after an extensive tour, michael demonstrated how to use house. >> so this is the actual texture of the whole -- temperature of the whole upstairs. sensor. usage.
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says. >> michael gave me final instructions on the close washer before leaving us alone, in a house that is smarter than we are. >> i'm not a very good cook by the way, so we are going to work together to not suck at cooking. perfect. ♪ music ♪ ] >> we'll do this. >> start. what am i doing wrong? on, off. [ laughs ] >> i pressed that button, i swear. >> 350. >> 350. >> press start. preheating. while we were busy cooling the house was busy too, adjusting the lights for evening, and tracking data. minute by minute checking where the power is going and where it's not.
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>> what are you guys hoping to learn from this? >> we'd like to help propel the state of the art in the industry. most of the data we'll make publicly available, put it on the internet. anyone that wants to study energy use and they can use it to develop better equipment. >> we want to cover it. >> can we take a before and that. >> you're going to take a las arn yeah selfy -- selfie. honours? >> i would love to. >> eating. >> right. >> i'll let you clean up and... [ laughs ] 7 music ♪ ] >> we are about to find out how energy efficient lasagna tastes. >> i hope it tastes good. i feel like my reputation is on
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the line here. >> sure is. >> it's really good. i'm enjoying this. >> mm. you're not faking like you're enjoying it. >> i'm not faking. this is 100%. >> then it was time to relax and check on the energy usage. >> with the tablet you can tell how much energy you produced, how much you are consuming, and you can also have a little bit of fun. a little tv. a load of laundry. a nice hot shower - all for science. then it was time for us and the house to go to bed. the next morning our scientific slumber party came to an end. it was time to turn the house
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back over in michael konig. >> how did it go, you are the first overnight guests, tell me the truth. >> it was exciting, i loved it. >> yes, we trashed the place. it was a lot of fun. >> some of the appliances were a little too smart. we had to catch up. >> it took phil a while to turp on the oven. >> me too. >> what is really cool is the second. >> that saves water problems. >> that was the design. >> i love the way it woke up with us. i was sitting in bed doing work and all of a sudden the shades go up. it feels very connected to the house, not just the way the lights are, but knowing everything i'm doing, it's recorded, so when you flush the toilet, run the shower, all the data goes to science. we were energy hogs, because we came with a full crew and electronics. honda said the house is expected to consume around 18
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kilowatt hours a day, less than the average home, consuming about 30. the house delivered more than 19 kilowas of energy back to the grid. it was an honour being the first guests, we had a blast. thank you for letting us crash in the honda smart home. >> thank you, we are happy to have you back. >> we'll save you lasagna next time. goodbye home. >> needless to say i had a good time. house. >> i'm jealous you guys had a us. >> it was hard work. i tested every faucet, eating las arn yax. >> what about the accessibility for a home like this, is this american. >> some of the items, because they paid attention to details, things like the tables were
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certified wood and the bed was eco-friendly and cost a lot of money, which is good, but the average consumer would have a hard time relating or getting close to affording it. the passive design, the way the home was built with the angle of the sun and the way the windows are, that are attainable. >> a lot of times it's about thinking about the items before you build and put it into your blue print. if you build a home, making it have a passive design wouldn't cost money. converting and refitting an existing home would probably be expensive. this is a research home. hopefully once the data is in, it will be scaleable. >> after having the experience, choose? >> that's a tough question. >> i think i'll have to go with the lighting. i loved how automated it was,
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how by day there's blue light, by night it was more like yellow, red. i loved that. up. >> i'm wondering - with a home like this contributing to the grid more than it's pulling off of it. what will it mean for the energy industry in general? >> it's a fascinating subject. they are aware, welcoming this technology. that would be weird, instead of having a bunch of consumers, having people contribute energy to the system. >> i think that's ultimately the goal that we all want to achieve, and seeing a transition into using solar, into using geothermal, into using the different sources of energy. i think we'll see less and less reliance on coal. >> karen and i had a good time cooking lasagna, and that smile
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is gern un, i -- genuine, i enjoyed it. be sure to follow us on instagram and tumbler for more photos from the field. when we come back we meet a friendly robot coming from the factory to you - after the break. >> the new al jazeera america primetime. get the real news you've been looking for. at 7:00, a thorough wrap-up of the day's events. then at 8:00, john seigenthaler digs deeper into the stories of the day. and at 9:00, get a global perspective on the news. weeknights on al jazeera america.
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[ ♪ music ♪ ] hey, guy, welcome back to "techknow". i'm phil torres, joined by crystal dilworth, marita davison, and cara santa maria. you guys are about to meet baxter, a smiling robot that may come to a factory near you and helping some workers there. let's look. a human-sized robot named baxter is redefining work. he is a 2-armed robot with an animated space. if he bumps into something, or someone grabs his arm, sensors
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stop the arm allowing a human to reposition it. making hands-on training safe, easy and intuitive. it's used for simply industrial jobs such as loading, unloading, sorting and handling materials. baxter is able to work on an assembly line, next to a person training him to learn the representative tasks. with behaviour-based intelligence, baxter senses and adapts to task. >> so one of the questions that comes to mind when you see a piece like this is is this robot going to replace human jobs? >> i think we can look to different industries that are implementing and using robots now. the agricultural industry is one where there's a push towards automation, and a concern that it will displace the workforce and take the place of human workers. it's not really what is happening. the robots are designed to work
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along with humans, designed to, in some cases, help them. they are requiring that workers expand skill sets to work alongside the robot. >> i understand that these robots were designed to work alongside people. i am not sure that i'm completely sold on the need to put a safe on the robot. do we need to be amfer more fizzing the machines. >> if someone with a ph.d. - you can look at robotics in a different way than somebody who has never been around a robot before. if there's a warmth to the workplace. they are scary to a lot of people. hollywood made them scary. if we make them more approachable, human like, it may be easy to adapt. >> what you are saying is not everywhere is standing in a line itself. >> probably not. >> that's amazing. >> there is something to a
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smiley working environment. they give anybody working in manual labour, and they have someone next to them smiling - even if it's a robot. it will make a difference to how the day goes. >> it's cool that the robot is raelentive. if you are -- reactive. if you are working side by side, it will pull back and not harm you. that's a lot of concern for a lot of people in factories that could be dangerous. if it's safe, smiling. i don't have many complaints. it's a bit limited in skill sets. this could be a good glimpse of the future of the factories and industries around us. >> one of the things i loved is that the code is open source. anyone can contribute. . >> if you are working in a factory and you programme your robot to do something and your skill set is limited you can learn something from somebody halfway across the globe and improve the ability of your factly. it is cool. >> it's amazing.
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>> from a robot that can work alongside you, smile at you to a house that greets you with warm light. i'm amazed at the stories that we contribute to and find out about. if you guys want to see more, techknow. >> dive into the stories and go behind the scenes at aljazeera.com/techknow. follow our contributors on facebook, google+ and more. >> tomorrow on "techknow". >> we should not be having earthquakes in texas. >> the true cost of energy hits home. >> my yard is gone. >> are we destroying our way of life? >> contaminated water from the fracking activities come here. >> they stick it into the core of the earth. >> but this cutting-edge technology could be the answer. >> the further of fracking is about the water. >> protecting the planet saving lives. >> how do you convince a big oil company to use this? >> "techknow". tomorrow, 6:30 eastern.
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only on al jazeera america. >> part of al jazeera america's >> special month long evironmental focus 1kw50us fragile planet desperate rescue efforts in kathmandu. the number known to have died in saturday's earthquake mounts. hello there. you are watching "al jazeera live from london. also coming up two protestors shot dead in burundi as police break up protests. acts beside an active col van 0. plus i am robin

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