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tv   Click  BBC News  June 15, 2017 3:30am-4:01am BST

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a tower block of flats in west london. police expect that number to rise significa ntly. fire crews have not yet been able to search all 2a storeys. 78 people have been treated in hospital, 18 are in critical condition. grenfell tower housed around 500 people, some had repeatedly raised concerns about fire safety. they say their warnings over a recent refurbishment and possible safety risks were ignored. checks are to be carried out across britain on similar tower blocks. president trump is being investigated for possible obstruction ofjustice according to the washington post. the move by special counsel robert mueller, if confirmed, would mark a turning point in the investigation into russian interference in last year's presidential election. now on bbc news, click. this week, preparing for the worst in vr. a bunch of new apples.
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and the bouncy, strokey, stretchy, bendy, slimy world of soft robotics. it is hard to believe that the world is safer than it used to be. it is, but the nature of the terror attacks in the west it is, but the nature of the terror attacks in the west in the last few years — the increasing use of vehicles, knives and guns to carry out prolonged attacks, have forced the authorities to think differently about how to deal with a terrorist incident. and of course, they're not
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confined to the west. in some parts of the world, these atrocities are more common and often have more casualties. it's difficult to predict when and where a terrorist attack will occur. but while the authorities can't predict, they can prepare for the worst. this is a large—scale counter—terrorism training exercise. it was a combined effort, including london's metropolitan police, fire and ambulance and river services. however, training on this scale is expensive and requires large numbers of personnel and huge amounts of planning, but there are new ways to train more people individually. marc cieslak has been taking part in a new type of terror training. since 2015, from all across europe, a group 01:14 partners, including law enforcement, emergency services, transport companies, and universities have
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been working together on a three—year project to create training simulations for real—world terrorist attacks using virtual reality. the project is called auggmed and has been funded by an eu research and innovation programme. part of it has been designed here at sheffield hallam university. rather than build new technologies from the ground up, the hardware and the software which is at the core of this training system is tech that is more commonly found in video games. and that technology is proving to be a flexible training tool. you can act out a lot more scenarios that would be too dangerous to do in any real—life setting. it's a lot cheaper, it's more cost effective, it's easier to set up, and it offers a whole range of scenarios that you couldn't do in real life, because they would just be too dangerous or too complicated. it's a big project.
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virtual simulations which can be used to train a wide variety of different people, from paramedics to the police and even those employed by the transport networks. so, for this scenario, we're going to put a new bag down here. there we are. and so, the trainees are going to be looking for this bag. a suspect bag has been placed in an accurate virtual model of a real location — the muntaner subway station in the spanish city of barcelona. my task as a trainee is to find it. ok, so i'm on the platform now. i can see people. i can't walk into them. now, i can see a package over there. i can interact with the bag. i'll press this button here. the bag opens. there is what i'm assuming is some kind of explosive with wires plugged into it. so, in this situation, i'm going to start evacuating all civilians in the immediate area. i'm going to tell them to start to evacuate.
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start evacuating! but all doesn't go to plan. now your people are evacuating towards the bomb, which you don't want. so you might want to go onto the platforms to start evacuating people in the correct direction. so all of the passengers are all being driven by an ai, yeah? yes. but the people behave in a pretty realistic fashion? yes. start evacuating! that's all based on scientific data of what people do in real situations. so you've successfully started evacuating everybody who has been on all the platforms. next, a different scenario. we can't show too much of this as the images are just too graphic. in the aftermath of an explosion, a paramedic trainee must triage the injured passengers, applying different coloured stickers to a passenger. the different colours indicate the urgency of the requirement for treatment. it's an unsettling and distressing experience. it is meant to be, though.
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the overwhelming sound and distressing images are designed to replicate real—world situations. but this system isn't just the work of counter—terrorism researchers and software engineers. to find out more, i travelled to the real location featured in the simulation. in recent years, terrorist atrocities have been carried out all over europe, highlighting the international nature of the response to this terrorism. here in barcelona, the emergency services themselves have played a key role in the design of the auggmed virtual reality simulation. jose giraldo is a doctor and emergency first responder here in barcelona. he's been helping to fine—tune the system to improve its utility to emergency services and paramedics. so this is muntaner station, that i saw in the vr model? yes. what is the big thing that you get from the virtual reality,
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from the fact that it is so immersive, that you are thrown into a virtual world? when i get to a real situation, i am used to it, i am trained for it. so it doesn't surprise me so much as it could. it is quite unusual being in the real station, having spent a little bit of time in the virtual version. what has been interesting walking around here is noticing i now know the layout, the geography of the station. i know where all of the exits are, i know where the escalators are, and which direction of travel they go in. so even i was able to learn something very, very quickly in that virtual reality version of this subway station. but vr has its limitations. robert guest is from birmingham university and is part of the auggmed development team. you can't really get a physical hands on an object in virtual reality, but what we can trade is
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things like decision—based training. we can look at emotional management and general communication skills between different team members. we see terrorists constantly changing their tactics. how do you guys respond to those change of tactics? the benefit of this project as a whole is we can rapidly change what scenarios are actually being trained. so for new tactics being used, out in the public and reality, we can bring those into a virtual world and allow people to train for those situations very rapidly. the next stage of this system's development is a haptic vest which provides force feedback to trainees simulating physical sensations. it's also fitted with heating elements which make the trainee hotter. if you are in a kind of stressful environment like this one, there is a good chance you will start to get hot and sweaty. as soon as you get uncomfortable, then that makes it a lot more
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difficult to do yourjob and creates an environment for them which is as close as it can be to the real one. this whole system isn't designed to replace real—world training but to augment it, to allow people to train remotely, if need be, constantly reinforcing their skills. skills which, recently, have been sadly tested all too often. that was marc. now, while the professionalfirst responders are always going to be better trained, it is ask the public who are almost always going to be first on the scene of an attack. current advice from the british police is to run from an incident, rather than surrender or try to negotiate with attackers. this online video also explains how and where to hide if you can't escape. now, if you dial 999, but it is not safe to talk out loud, the operator will give you the option to dial 55, to show that you haven't called by accident and you really
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do need help. 55 looks like ss, which stands for silent solution. there is also an app called citizen aid which uses advice from combat situations to help users administerfirst aid and make more informed decisions in different emergency situations. hello and welcome to the week in tech. it was the week that uber refunded customers for journeys taken near last saturday night's london terror attacks after pricing had automatically surged due to demand — a function they disabled later that evening. the comment section on britney spears‘ instagram account has been used by russian—speaking hackers to test malware. and snapchat specs have gone on sale in the uk — if you think this is a sensible way to go out. google‘s streetview cars have been tracking air pollution. after a year of the vehicles driving
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around the streets of oakland, california, data localised to individual roads has become available with initial recordings of black carbon, nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide being revealed. anyone with kids can tell you what it's like trying to get play—doh out the carpet. but, sadly, i don't have a new gadget to tell you about that — it's actually the play clay that's gone high—tech. doh universe can conduct electricity and aims to help kids learn about circuits, sound, light and movement through play. and, finally, researchers at mit have developed sensors for the grippers of robotic arms that aim to help bots grab things with the right amount of pressure. the gelsight sensors aim to make negotiating smaller objects possible, as well as making general household tasks easier to approach — which would be handy if, one day, robots are to become ordinary household companions. this annual running of the nerds can
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only mean one thing — we are in sanjose for apple's worldwide developers‘ conference, otherwise known as wwdc. it's an event the company doesn't typically use to make big product announcements, but, this year, perhaps feeling the heat a little, they broke with tradition and revealed a bunch of new stuff. it's been 15 years since we held the developer conference in sanjose and an awful lot has changed. the homepod is a direct competitor to assistants made by amazon and google. it will cost $349 and be available later this year in the us, uk and australia. other countries will get it in 2018. it will be controlled by siri, but apple isn't really calling it a home assistant. they say it is a music device first and foremost.
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we weren't allowed to film it in action, but i was given a private listen and, well, it does sound fantastic. one of the potential downsides is that you need an apple music subscription in order to get the full integration. so if you prefer to use spotify or pandora, maybe not quite the device for you. in other news, apple says it can become the biggest augmented reality platform overnight. this demo is from the new production house run by peterjackson, the man famed for creating the lord of the rings movies. and the ipad has been given a new lease of life. they announced a new 10.5 inch ipad pro, and the next version of apple's operating system will see the tablet get a bunch of extra features. many people might see this as a kind of middle ground between getting a very expensive computer, but still being able to get their work done. several thousand developers turn up to wwdc every year. many more would come if they could get tickets. among the masses, ifound
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the youngest attendee — ten—year—old yuma, who had come all the way from melbourne, australia. i just enjoy the fact that i can turn, like, my ideas into reality by programming and making apps. so this is my most recent app, which i published six days ago. so you can click anywhere to place a block. and your goal here is actually to get the highest tower blocks. so you are obviously much younger than everybody here? yes. so what do you want to do when you grow up? are you going to carry on making apps? i want to be a turtle. you want to be a turtle? i'm joking! i mean, why not? i don't know. how can ijust turn myself into a turtle and grow a shell? and become green. iamjoking. i would like to create apps i can revolutionise the world. and i also want to teach the world coding and get them into coding, so they can actually improve
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all the technology we have and make technology a whole lot better. a young man destined for great things, i'm sure. think robots and maybe you'll picture something like this. or this. but what about robotic muscle and smart materials that could act as human skin, or clothes that rehabilitate you as you wear them? well, that is part of what's called soft robotics and this team at bristol robotics lab are bioengineering technologies to do all of that and more. i went to take a peek at their labs. this is a bucket of alien saliva, right? yeah, this is the same stuff that drips out of the alien mouth. so ridley scottjust used a whole bunch of that.
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though, in this case, it's to simulate blood. this soft robot mimics how some bacteria move through our bodies. in the future, it's thought that nano robots will take a similar trip through our veins looking for infection and illness. oh, that's awesome! some of the projects they are working on here involves making assistive technology for elderly and disabled people, like this pneumatic artificial muscle. it can be made into any shape and built into clothing. as you apply air, it changes its shape so it could for instance help people with limited grip strength. its force is only dependent on how much air pressure you apply. and here's some material that can sense when that pressure should be applied. this diametric elastomer can detect when it's being stretched, so it can sense when you try to move and add extra power to maybe help you up the stairs.
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and it can not only detect movement, it can also change its shape when you apply a high enough voltage. you could use it for changeable clothing, clothing that can change its colour. you can use it as a sort of second skin to help with deep vein thrombosis, to assist with pumping blood. it can even be layered up to create stronger artificial muscles. it doesn't seem like it's doing a lot, but, actually, it is very thin, it weighs almost nothing, the active part of which only weighs, let's say, four grams, and it can lift two kilos. in one respect none of this is complicated, none of this is extremely high—tech, using, like, billions of transistors, it is simple voltage and a piece of material. i think that is one of the big advantages of soft robotics, the simplicity, redundancy. in a complicated robotic system you have a lot of elements that can go wrong. with these sorts of things it is very simple and it is very adaptable. the intelligence is in the design and immediately used, rather than in the complexity. the robotics lab in bristol
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is 50,000 square foot hive of innovation filled with hundreds of different types of robots. but what nearly all have in common is they need power to run. over in the bio energy lab, scientists are working on one freely available re—source the world will never run out of, urine. each one of these cylinders is a microbial fuel cell device. it turns waste water into electricity using microbes. so the microbes eat the waste? they eat the waste. that's their favourite item on the menu. right, ok! i've been to that restaurant, yeah. in this unit, two litres of urine is fed into the fuel cell pack. the microbes eat what they need, creating electrons as a by—product. and because they're attached to an electrode surface, it is all collected to produce about 30—110 milliwatts of power. now, that's enough to slowly
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charge a smartphone, power smart displays or power internal lights for their special portable toilets. this is only one unit of many. when we do it out of the lab, we install these units out of the lab, we have many more of them connected together as a stack. if you're going to glastonbury this year, you might see these screens near the urinals. if you choose to use the urinals, you'll be part of an experiment which is literally putting the p into power. these are e ink displays, which don't require a lot of power. but a lucky few may be able to charge their phones for a bit, but only after donating. most of the pee used here comes from staff donors at the lab. it's only good for the microbes for an hour or so, so a constant supply is needed.
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although, i think i'll hang on. around the world, scientists are looking at different ways of improving our quality of life. here it's alternative sources of power. at soft robotics, it's smart materials and possibly in the future bionic limbs. but in italy's scuola superiore sant‘anna, they're looking at sensation. ana matronic went there to look at attempts to simulate touch. i am at the biorobotics lab where researchers are trying to merge human physiology with machine engineering. the team are working on a bionic fingertip that is capable of detecting texture. the human sense of touch is an incredibly complex one. i don't even need to look at these three pieces of plastic to sense the differences in the coarseness of the ridges. this of course presents a huge problem to people designing artificial limbs. how do you transfer that same sensitivity into a prosthetic hand?
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to create a machine capable of sensing and transmitting tactile data, first we need to understand how bodies decode sensory stimuli. fingertips have the highest concentration of sensation almost anywhere in the human body thanks to 20,000 nerve fibres on each finger and these tiny receptors. they react to sensory information as we move our fingers across different surfaces. each receptor has a different role. some respond to pain, some to temperature. others react to pressure or vibration. this is the characteristic that allows our skin to interact with the environment and that will allow an object, when manipulated, not to break. the bionic fingertip registers the textures it touches as electrical spikes. on screen it may look simple,
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but that is exactly the language that our nervous system speaks. as we touch objects, it sends nerve impulses to the brain. and the tiny, subtle variations in how the skin deforms as we touch changes those impulses and how we perceive texture. this kind of inspiration capitalises on an actual principle and can be more effective as humans and animals in general can interact with the environment. professor odo and his team have already had some success. dennis sorensen was one of the first amputees to try out the bionic fingertip. the output from the finger was directly connected to the healthy nerves in his upperarm. i could tell the difference between where it was very rough and smooth. yeah, that was amazing. and, since this first clinical trial a couple of years ago, the team had been trying to increase
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the number of textures the patients can feel. the experiments that we are showing now are demonstrating the capability to encode, for examples silk, from cotton, from elastic, from wool, from different kinds of materials. and in this way we could restore a more natural sense of touch to the amputee that is wearing the prosthesis. what is learned here can be transferred to other applications. for example, a surgical robot could use this technology to identify tumours, which would feel different in texture to healthy tissue. another kind of application is for rescue. to allow robots to be present in the environment, not only through vision, but to have more senses available when exploring an environment. think for example of the nuclear disasters, or in the case of underwater application. the robot can go and touch and the perceived environments, based also on the sensory feedback
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that you can have remotely controlling their arm. once this technology is mastered, it can be integrated into simple things like gloves. for instance, i could be anywhere in the world. my husband back in new york can give me the sensation of petting our cat. and that would be transferred through these actuators to me anywhere in the world. i want one right now! well, i can't give you that at the moment, ana, but in the meantime, how about a hug from this chap? that's it from the bristol robotics lab. next week, we are going to be in los angeles for the annual e3 video games extravaganza. it's going to be brilliant. we will tweet everything we see @bbcclick. you can also follow us on facebook for loads of extra content throughout the week.
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thanks for watching and we will see you in la. hello. the next 2a hours will bring us some cooler, fresher weather but it won't last long — the warmth will return for the weekend. we certainly pulled some warmth up from the south during wednesday. 27 degrees was our top temperature at heathrow. thursday, though, is going to be a different feeling day. the cold front pushing in from the west and behind that some fresh air will be introduced. ahead of that it is quite a warm and muggy start to thursday morning, particularly in our big
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town and city centres. 16,17,18 degrees. with some sunshine, temperatures in eastern england will rise quickly through the morning. but here is our weather front, our cold front. at this stage showery rain, and as that pushes through it will introduce that fresher air from the west. by 4pm in the afternoon, south—west england will still enjoy sunshine but the temperature will have dropped off. still some warmth clinging on across the south—east and east anglia. 22, 23 degrees here and mainly fine afternoon across the midlands. here it will quite a lot fresher there. 17 degrees. across scotland there will be cloudy periods, i suspect, with showery rain. equally bright spells in between and breezy towards the north—west. similar story for northern ireland with bright spells but large areas of cloud and showery rain. we come back to wales where it is fine through the afternoon but the temperatures only getting as high as 17 or 18 degrees.
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with fresher feel in place, thursday night should be a little more comfortable for sleeping, i suspect. 11 there in aberdeen. 13 in london. out in the countryside will be even a little cooler than that. so, quite a fresh start to friday but a bright start with sunshine. however, there will be changes through the day. more cloud into northern ireland, scotland, parts of northern england and north wales, a little bit of patchy rain moving through as well. also you will start to notice those temperatures creeping upwards again and that is what will take us into the weekend. this warm front bringing some patchy rain across northern areas but also introducing some warm air from the south. you will notice an area of high pressure building in from the south as well. across england and wales, saturday will not only be warm but a sunny. 28 degrees in london. showery rain for northern ireland and western scotland. a bit breezy here as well. on sunday the rain really confined to the far north—west. further south and east, quite a lot of sunshine, some humid air in place and the temperature could reach as high as 30
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or 31 degrees. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: at least 12 people have died after a huge fire swept through a west london tower block, many people are still missing and police warn the number of victims is likely to rise. eyewitnesses say the flames engulfed the 2a—storey building within 30 minutes with people desperately trying to escape. people were screaming, people were jumping out on fire, chucking down ropes they'd made out of bedsheets to try to climb out. just a complete nightmare, absolute nightmare. firefighters desperately struggled to reach the upper floors but were repelled by the heat and falling debris. they still haven't been able to search the whole building. it was so dark and so much smoke was there. there was people running down the stairs, some people had luggage,
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