Monthly Archives: August 2019

Robots shed more light on evolution w Video

first_img Robots Reveal Insights into Evolution Explore further Researchers Laurent Keller, from the University of Lausanne, and Dario Floreano of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne studied Alice and Khepera robots controlled by input information from the robots’ sensors and neural networks. They loaded short basic instruction codes into the robots’ operating systems, with random variations that changed every generation, in “virtual mutations”. To simulate natural selection, only the code for the most successful robots was selected and passed to the next generation of robots.In one experiment they programmed robots with six sensors on one side and two on the other to navigate a maze. They then selected the robots most skilled at avoiding collisions. After fewer than 100 generations the robots could navigate through a complex maze without collisions, and had learned to keep the side with six sensors facing in the direction of travel. A) The predator robot (right) facing the prey robot (left). B) Six examples of pursuit and evasion strategies that evolved over the 100 generations of selection in one of the replicates (see main text for description). The position of the prey at the end of the trial is indicated by the empty disk and that of the predator by the black disk (the lines in the disks correspond to the frontal directions). Image credit: doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000292.g004 Play Evolution of collision-free navigation. In the initial generations, robots can hardly avoid walls (one robot even approaches objects). After 50 generations, robots can navigate around the looping maze without hitting the walls. In another experiment they programmed groups of robots to push tokens along a wall to a marked area to win points. They selected the robots that gained the most points to pass their code on to the next generation. Over time altruistic behaviors were observed, in which robots sacrificed points if the entire group would benefit, and the robots cooperated to push larger tokens together to earn more points. As in nature, the robots followed the biological principle of kin selection, in which they only helped robots having the same code lineage. Play Evolved “Khepera” robot performing exploration and homing for battery recharge. The robot enters the recharging area approximately 2 seconds before full battery discharge. In other experiments some robots with good eyesight were programmed to pursue other robots, which were faster. At first the predators found the prey and headed towards it, while the prey were programmed to move away. After 125 generations, the predators had developed the strategy of lying in wait and attacking the prey robots’ blind spots, while the successful “prey” robots learned where the predators waited and ensured their sensors were always facing the predators. Play Coevolved predator and prey robots engaged in a tournament. After locating and moving towards the prey, the predator cannot reach it because the prey can perceive it with the rear distance sensors and moves faster. The code used in the experiments was extremely short, which proves that complex behaviors can emerge from a simple set of instructions. The paper is published in the Public Library of Science — Biology journal. (PhysOrg.com) — Swiss scientists have proposed that if robots could evolve through natural selection the result would be robots that would help each other, cooperate, and be capable of hunting. Their experiments follow on from earlier studies reported by PhysOrg, which used robots to shed light on evolutionary processes. Citation: Robots shed more light on evolution (w/ Video) (2010, February 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-02-robots-evolution-video.htmlcenter_img PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen A) Experimental setup with a Khepera robot moving in the direction of the nest (recharging station), located in front of the light tower. B) Trajectory of an evolved robot after 200 generations. The trajectory starts in the lower left corner and ends within the recharging nest in the top left corner. Each point corresponds to the recording of the robot’s position using an external tracking device. The arena and the recharging nest were plotted by manually positioning the robot along their contours. Image credit: doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000292.g003 PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen © 2010 PhysOrg.com PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen More information: Floreano D, Keller L (2010) Evolution of Adaptive Behaviour in Robots by Means of Darwinian Selection. PLoS Biol 8(1): e1000292. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000292 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Dolphins have ability to sense electrical signals

first_img Group calls for ban on dolphin therapy © 2010 PhysOrg.com Credit: Wkipedia This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers reveal the discovery of how the Guiana dolphin, Sotalia guianensis, is able to sense electric fields of prey in the water using structures found on the animals head.center_img Explore further While electroreception is often seen in fish and amphibians, it is not common in mammals. As a matter of fact, until this new research, the only mammal to show the ability to sense electric fields was the platypus.The researchers, led by Wolf Hanke from the University of Rostock in Germany studied some rare captive Guiana dolphins at a zoo in Muenster, Germany. When examining the rostrum of the dolphins, or the forward part of the head that contains the jaw, the researchers noticed small depressions. When one of the dolphins died, the researchers examined these depressions and found that they are crypts and hold whiskers when the dolphins are in the womb. These whiskers later drop off after the dolphin is born. It had been assumed these were just the depressions left after the whiskers were gone, but the researchers believed they were somehow still aiding the dolphin’s senses.Turning to the remaining dolphin in captivity, the researchers trained the dolphin to rest it’s head on a platform fitted with electrodes designed to deliver electrical signals into the water. When the researchers delivered a signal, the dolphin was rewarded if it swam away. If there was no signal, the dolphin was rewarded for staying in place.To prove that the signal was indeed being sensed through these crypts, the researchers then fitted the dolphins with a plastic shield that covered the crypts. With the shield in place, the dolphin did not move regardless of whether an electrical signal was present or not.The Guiana dolphin is similar to the more commonly known bottlenose dolphin but lives off the east coast of South America. Similar to other toothed cetaceans, the Guiana dolphin hunts and locates prey using echolocation, or sound waves.While echolocation is good for finding prey from a distance, it does not work well at close range. The Guiana dolphin routinely feeds at the bottom of the ocean where the water can be very murky. It is here that the researchers believe that electroreception comes in handy.The researcher’s next plan is to examine other dolphin species to see if they too have the same ability. Citation: Dolphins have ability to sense electrical signals (2011, July 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-dolphins-ability-electrical.htmllast_img read more

Cashless treatment facility for accident victims on three highways

first_imgTo provide immediate medical care to road accident victims, the government has launched pilot projects on three highway stretches that provide the victim cashless treatment for up to Rs 30,000, governemnt said on Monday.“In order to give a boost to emergency care of accident victims, pilot projects has been launched by the Ministry on Gurgaon-Jaipur section of NH 8, Mumbai-Vadodara of NH 8 and Ranchi-Rargaon-Mahulia of NH 33 for providing cashless treatment to road accident victims for 48 hours at expenditure up to a limit of Rs 30,000,” Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways P Radhakrishnan told Rajya Sabha. The union minister said GPS enabled ambulances, connected with a central control room through a toll-free number 1033, are stationed at distance of 20 km to transport the injured to the hospitals. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, under the scheme ‘National Highways Accident Relief Service Scheme’ provides 10-tonne cranes and small medium cranes for hilly areas and ambulances to States/UTs for relief and rescue measures in the aftermath of accidents by way of evacuating road accident victim to nearest medical aid centre and for clearing the accident site.last_img read more

Grenade attack on 3 telecom facilities in Srinagar 4 injured

first_imgAfter nearly two months, militants again targeted telecom facilities on Friday, police said. They allegedly carried out three grenade attacks in Srinagar, in which four persons were injured.The attacks were carried out within four hours in 1-km, targeting facilities of Aircel, Vodafone and government-run BSNL.In the first attack, two unidentified men barged into the office of Aircel at Karan Nagar, located less than 300 metres from Zonal Police Headquarters, at 11.30 am and asked the staffers to vacate the premises, police said. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJI“The militants then hurled a grenade on the premises and fled,” a police official said.About 500 metres away from this spot, the second attack was carried in a similar fashion at a Vodafone showroom. Initially, no injuries were reported. However, later three persons showed up at SMHS hospital with injuries. Doctors said the trio had suffered minor injuries caused by splinters of glass panes.The two blasts – within 30 minutes – shook the area and prompted the police to issue an alert for the assailants.  Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindA few hours later, another attack was carried out in Shaheedgunj at 3pm. Militants allegedly hurled a grenade at a BSNL tower. A labourer was  injured in the incident. The BSNL is less than a kilometre away from the scene of the earlier two incidents. The labourer, Farid Mohammad Bhai, working in the neighbouring house, sustained splinter injuries in the blast, a police officer said. He was admitted to SMHS hospital.  Police have launched a manhunt to nab the militants.last_img read more

Wing part arrives in France as MH370 link investigated

first_imgA piece of Boeing 777 wreckage that washed up on an Indian Ocean island arrived for analysis in France early Saturday, after Malaysian authorities said the part was almost certainly recovered from missing flight MH370.Paris’ Orly airport website confirmed the Air France flight transporting the piece of wreckage landed at 6.17 am local time (0417 GMT) from the French island of La Reunion. A police escort will accompany the two-metre (6.5 foot) part on its journey by road to a defence ministry laboratory near the southwestern city of Toulouse. Also Read – Separatists vacate key offices in Yemen’s Aden, says MinisterExperts will begin their analysis on Wednesday, along with an examination of parts of a suitcase discovered nearby.If confirmed, the discovery would mark the first breakthrough in a case that has baffled aviation experts for 16 months. “I believe that we are moving closer to solving the mystery of MH370. This could be the convincing evidence that MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean,” Malaysia’s deputy transport minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told AFP. Also Read – Afghan peace deal: Trump meets top advisers to discuss progressThe Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There were 239 people on board.Boeing said in a statement yesterday that it would send a technical team to France to study the plane debris at the request of civil aviation authorities.“Our goal, along with the entire global aviation industry, continues to be not only to find the airplane, but also to determine what happened – and why,” the US aerospace giant added.last_img read more

JK Spices to focus on exports to tieup with US etailers

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata-based packaged spices major J K Spices is scouting for aggressive overseas opportunities including tie-up with US based e-tailers to expand its market, a top company official said today. “We are looking to grow both in the domestic and overseas markets. We have tied up with Amazon.com and later propose to extend the same with Ebay for the US market. The US Amazon will be be unveiled tomorrow,” JK Spices and Food director (sales & marketing) Vijay Jain said here. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life He said along with it the company was also negotiating with a leading seller on Amazon India for the online space in India. The company was optimistic about the US market to tap the huge Indian diaspora. “We are even launching new products exclusively for the US markets,” Jain said. JK Spices has three manufacturing locations in India and all the three units are US FDA approved, he said. The company would also explore Middle East and African markets beside exporting in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. JK Spices claimed to enjoy about four per cent of the organised national spices market of about Rs 6,000 crore. JK Spices is leader in the West Bengal market with at least 35-40 per cent market share and had posted Rs 245 crore in FY18′.last_img read more

Ganga Sagar Mela to be declared Green Mela

first_imgGanga Sagar Mela next year would be declared ‘Green Mela’ where sanitary toilets would be provided for all pilgrims.South 24 Paraganas district magistrate P B Salim said 10,000 sanitary toilets would be set up for the mela, which attracts lakhs of pilgrims from across the country.He said the pilgrims would be made aware of the demerits of open defecation at various stages of their journey right from the city to Sagar Island, where they take the holy dip on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeReferring to the situation in the district vis-a-vis sanitation, he said the model set by Nadia, declared a total sanitation district, would be followed though South 24 Parganas had a much larger population.“Next year on Gandhi Jayanti we plan to declare South 24 Parganas a total sanitation district. For this we are involving people from all sections – students, Anganwadi and Asha workers, SHGs, NGOs besides religious heads,” he said adding at present there are no sanitary toilets in at least seven lakh households in the district.The government will provide Rs 10,000 for each toilet built and the beneficiary would pay Rs 900 or provide labour. In West Bengal 40 per cent of the people have no sanitary toilets at their homes compared to 58 per cent in the country.last_img read more

Fire minister reaches incident site at 3 am supervises firefighting operation

first_imgKolkata: State Fire and Emergency Services minister Sovan Chatterjee, who has been closely monitoring the work to douse the flames at Bagree Market, stated that the devastating blaze could have been averted if proper steps in terms of firefighting arrangements had been taken on time.Chatterjee said: “The area is congested and hydraulic ladders could not be used due to overhead wires and cables. The building was packed with inflammable objects. An inspection was carried out at Bagree Market, Mehta Building and such other buildings in Kolkata very recently. The authorities of the buildings were cautioned and were also told to take the necessary steps to avert an incident of fire.” Chatterjee further added: “Would we witness such a catastrophe if proper measures had been taken?” It may be mentioned that Chatterjee went to the spot at around 3 am. He had been at the spot till last reports came in on Sunday night. The minister spoke to senior officers of his department to ensure that the firefighting operation is carried out properly.last_img read more

16yearold commits suicide

first_imgKolkata: Two persons committed suicide and two others tried to commit suicide in two separate incidents across the city.On Wednesday afternoon, three persons including a 15-year-old boy were found unconscious inside their home at Garfa. Later, it was declaed that one of the women died. In another incident on Wednesday afternoon, a 16-year-old girl of Class XI studying in a school located at Bidhan Sarani jumped off from the roof top of the school. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to the sources, the residents of a housing complex on Purbachal Road at Garfa felt got a foul smell. When they tried to locate the source of the smell, they saw two women and a boy were lying unconscious inside a flat. Immediately, police was informed. The sleuths broke the door and recovered three of them and rushed to M R Bangur hospital where the woman (65) was declared brought dead. Another woman (42) and her son are undergoing treatment. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHospital sources informed that they had consumed excessive numbers of sleeping pills to commit suicide. According to locals, the family was going through a financial crunch. Hence, they tried to commit suicide. In another incident, a 16-year-old girl committed suicide by jumping off the roof of a school building at Bidhan Sarani near Vidyasagar College. At around 3:15 pm on Wednesday, the security guards and other staff heard a loud noise. When they went to check they saw the girl lying in a pool of blood. She was immediately rushed to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital where she was admitted in a critical condition. It is suspected that she might have had an altercation with her family members regarding some issues.last_img read more

Decomposed male body found in canal

first_imgKolkata: A decomposed male body was found in the Pragati Maidan police station area on Thursday morning.Locals saw the body in a canal and informed police accordingly. Later, the sleuths fished out the body from the canal and sent it to NRS Medical College Hospital for autopsy. According to locals, on Thursday morning, they got a foul smell coming from the canal side in the Khanaberia area. Primarily, people assumed that someone must have dumped animal carcass. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalHowever, after a few hours when some locals went there to check the source of the smell, they stumbled upon a human body floating in the water. Pragati Maidan police station was informed. Later, police fished out the body from the canal. According to sources, it is suspected that the person is about 35 years of age and had died at least 4-5 days ago. He was wearing a pair of jeans and a jacket. The sleuths also suspect that the body might have been reached the said area by means of floating as no missing complaint was lodged at Pragati Maidan police station. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedNo one from the locality has identified the body. It is still not clear whether the person has been murdered as the body was recovered in a decomposed state. Thus, injury marks if any on the body have become hard to identify. The sleuths have found a bottle of alcohol from the pocket of the jeans. According to sources, the police suspect that person might have fallen in the canal in a drunken state. To ascertain the actual cause of death, the sleuths are waiting for the autopsy report.last_img read more