•   
  •   
  •   

Canada Unleashing the future: Shell adds a team of robodogs to its Scotford operations

22:36  03 march  2021
22:36  03 march  2021 Source:   cbc.ca

First Nations workers in Saskatchewan sacrifice wages, vacation to run underfunded water systems

  First Nations workers in Saskatchewan sacrifice wages, vacation to run underfunded water systems First Nations water operators in Saskatchewan often find themselves on-call 24/7, while some make close to minimum wage to provide safe drinking water for their communities.Whether it’s a power outage in the middle of the night or a broken part on a weekend, Martell or one of his two co-workers, who are often on call, will troubleshoot from home or the plant to make sure the 238 homes in their community have access to safe drinking water.

The four-legged Spot robots have cameras or arm attachments where the head would be. © Supplied by Boston Dynamics The four-legged Spot robots have cameras or arm attachments where the head would be.

A dog training academy is teaching new tricks to a pair of very special dogs and their human handlers at Shell's Scotford Complex.

But with their abilities to open doors and take photos, the four-legged robots named Bolt and Gadget are clearly a cut above the average canine.

"The intent is to use them for some basic maintenance inspections," Conal MacMillan, the company's external relations manager, told CBC Radio's Edmonton AM on Wednesday.

"We'll be able to program them to their own custom routes to test our plant conditions, to help us out with some security tasks and if needed — hopefully not — perform autonomous emergency response missions on our site, too."

‘The Simpsons’ Brings Edna Krabappel Back To Pay Tribute To Late Marcia Wallace

  ‘The Simpsons’ Brings Edna Krabappel Back To Pay Tribute To Late Marcia Wallace On Sunday night’s episode of The Simpsons titled “Diary Queen”, the audience gets treated to a visit from a familiar face — and voice that became iconic in the long-running Fox animated series. In the episode, Bart stumbles upon the diary of Edna Krabappel, who was voiced by the late, great Marcia Wallace, who won an Emmy for the role in 1992. For more than 175 episodes, she was known as Bart’s teacher as well as Ned Flanders’ second wife. The result is a very heartfelt tribute to the actress who died unexpectedly in 2013 at the age of 70.

The robots are part of the bright yellow Spot line of quadruped robots made by Boston Dynamics, a company that was spun out of MIT in 1992 and is now owned by Hyundai. The Spot robots became commercially available in June, priced at $74,500 US.

Boston Dynamics is known for creating robots with advanced mobility and dexterity. Spot's smooth moves are featured in a viral YouTube video released in December that features a chorus line of the company's robots dancing to The Contours' hit Do You Love Me.

The robots, while headless, have doglike attributes that become more pronounced when they start moving. "Once it starts moving around," MacMillan said, "it would look 100 per cent like a dog."

MacMillan said one robot has 360-degree visual and scanning capabilities, with a camera mounted where its head would be. The second has attachments that give it the ability to manipulate items and perform tasks.

Stu Cowan: Canadiens need more than an attitude shift to get on track

  Stu Cowan: Canadiens need more than an attitude shift to get on track “If ‘Attitude’ can play centre and score 30 goals next season, the Canadiens might get back in the playoffs.” That was the lead to a column I wrote after the Canadiens finished the 2017-18 season in 28th place in the overall NHL standings with a 29-40-13 record and then during a post-mortem news conference GM Marc Bergevin spoke about how a bad attitude was the biggest problem with the team. “If you played a drinking game during the news conference that lasted more than an hour — taking a shot of booze every time the word ‘attitude’ or ‘transparent’ was used —  you would have been hammered after about 15 minutes, which might have been a good thing,” I added in the column.

They have heat detection capabilities and can do 3D scans of equipment that could be digitally mapped using computer software, he said.


Video: ISS astronauts prepare for blast off in SpaceX capsule (KameraOne)

"The possibilities right now are endless, in terms of what it could do," he said. "But until we actually know how to manipulate the arm and use that bot more effectively, it'll be small, incremental steps to start out. And will grow it and learn more as we move along.

"So right now, like I said, he can open the door, he could dig a hole and probably hide a bone."

The robots can be operated in two ways. A remote handler can guide its movements with a controller similar, except for the embedded screen, to what you would use for an XBox gaming system. The robots also have machine learning capabilities, meaning they can be taught to operate autonomously, he said.

Take note: At 26-6, Utah Jazz are the NBA's best team so far

  Take note: At 26-6, Utah Jazz are the NBA's best team so far Looking at individual stats reveals nothing about the Utah Jazz. They have one player among those with the 50 highest scoring averages so far this season. They have only one player among the top 50 per game in rebounding. They don’t have anyone with a top-30 assist average. And they have the NBA’s best record — by a considerable margin. Take note: The Jazz are off to the best start in franchise history, are on pace to shatter the NBA record for 3-pointers made per game, have won 20 of their last 22 games and just handed the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers their worst loss of the season.

Employee safety is the primary reason for adding ground robots to Shell's suite of technological assistants, which also includes drones for aerial inspections and robots that clean the inside of the refinery's massive tanks.

"In the past, we might have had to put somebody in a situation where we had to de-risk it with scaffolding or PPE or different layers of safety barriers," he said.

"(With the robots), we wouldn't have to do that. We wouldn't have to put that person in that situation."

Bolt and Gadget were named through two contests involving young family members of Scotford staff and student suggestions from schools in Fort Saskatchewan, Sherwood Park and Bruderheim.

"It's pretty cool technology and we wanted to create some awareness around the future jobs that some of these kids could have," he said.

MacMillan said Shell is actively bringing more innovative technology into its operations. Scotford is one of two Shell sites — the other being its Pernis refinery in Rotterdam — with robotic dogs.

Much of the training, expected to continue through the first quarter of the year, is geared toward familiarizing the human handlers with the robots, MacMillan said. The plan is to unleash them in Q2.

Training is taking place away from the Scotford's refinery, upgrader and chemical plant in Fort Saskatchewan, which is restricted to essential workers as a pandemic precaution.

But curiosity among employees is still very high, he said.

"There's definitely a general level of excitement and interest in seeing what these dogs can do — and what they're going to look like when they're doing it."

NFL QB mock draft: Every team’s chances of drafting a quarterback in 2021 first round .
Anything can happen in the 2021 NFL Draft with five quarterback prospects worthy of going in Round 1 and another who's at least a strong second-rounder.But from the lock at the team picking No. 1 overall to the Super Bowl 55 runners-up selecting at No. 31, the chances of a quarterback in the forecast range from 100 to zero percent. Based on the big board and with 29 teams having first-rounders, 17 to 21 percent of them should end up with a high-drafted rookie QB.

usr: 5
This is interesting!