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western australia

WA to spend AU$1 million to divert 1,000 tonnes of e-waste per year


Western Australia has announced it will invest AU$1 million into nine initiatives that are aimed at reducing e-waste. The AU$1 million investment will come out of the state's AU$16.7 million New Industries Fund, and is expected to divert approximately 1,000 tonnes of e-waste annually from landfill. "The selected projects will support the recovery of high value material, while diverting materials which may have presented risks to human health and the environment if not disposed of appropriately," Environment Minister Stephen Dawson added. Among the grant recipients are Curtin University, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and Epichem, which are all set to receive AU$200,000 apiece for their respective projects. Curtin University will use the funds to create a mini plant for recycling and metal recovery from printed circuit boards and integrated circuits; CSIRO will develop "innovative biotechnology" for extracting precious and base metals from e-waste; and Epichem has agreed to test whether oxidative hydrothermal dissolution can break down e-waste to produce a range of useful chemicals.

Machine learning helps to map invasive plant from space


Researchers from CSIRO, Charles Darwin University and The University of Western Australia have developed a machine-learning approach that reliably detects invasive gamba grass from high-resolution satellite imagery. Gamba grass is listed as a Weed of National Significance, and is one of five introduced grass species that pose extensive and significant threats to Australia's biodiversity. The perennial grass can grow to four metres in height and forms dense tussocks which can burn as large, hot fires late in the dry season. Mapping where gamba grass occurs is essential to managing it effectively, but northern Australia is so vast and remote that on-the-ground mapping and even airborne detection of the weed is too labour-intensive. So, the researchers turned to high-quality satellite imagery and developed a technique that could help detect and prioritise gamba grass for management.

Australian government sinks AU$19 million into AI health research projects


The Australian government has announced it will invest AU$19 million over three years into artificial intelligence-based health research projects designed to prevent, diagnose, and treat a range of health conditions. There are five projects in total that will receive funding as part of this announcement. The Centre for Eye Research Australia and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) will each receive nearly AU$5 million for their research projects. The Centre for Eye Research Australia has developed an AI system to detect eye and cardiovascular diseases, while UNSW is focused on using AI to understand and improve the treatment of mental health, including stress, anxiety, and depression. Another AU$7 million is being put towards two projects developed by the University of Sydney (USyd).

3D face photos could be a sleep apnea screening tool - Neuroscience News


Summary: Using 3D imaging and artificial intelligence, researchers discovered the shortest distance between two points on the curved surface of the face predicted, with 89% accuracy, which patients had sleep apnea. Facial features analyzed from 3D photographs could predict the likelihood of having obstructive sleep apnea, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Using 3D photography, the study found that geodesic measurements -- the shortest distance between two points on a curved surface -- predicted with 89 percent accuracy which patients had sleep apnea. Using traditional 2D linear measurements alone, the algorithm's accuracy was 86 percent. "This application of the technique used predetermined landmarks on the face and neck," said principle investigator Peter Eastwood, who holds a doctorate in respiratory and sleep physiology and is the director of the Centre for Sleep Science at the University of Western Australia (UWA).

Daredevil pilot is captured on camera flying the world's smallest twin-jet aircraft at 5,000ft

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A daredevil retired pilot has been captured on camera performing loops, rolls and a dramatic dive while flying the'world's smallest' twin-jet aircraft. Bob Grimstead, 70, flew at an altitude of 5,000ft (1,524m) in the diminutive plane which has been described as a'bubble car with wings'. At just 13ft (4m) long, 4ft (1.2m) wide and weighing a mere 180lbs, Mr Grimstead, from West Sussex, was able to reach speeds of 140mph (225kmh). The former British Airways airline pilot used to fly 400 tonne jumbo jets and said he had no fear taking to the skies in the micro plane and said it was'superb fun'. Bob Grimstead, 70, (pictured) flew the diminutive jet at 5,000ft (1,524m).

Dawn of the Robo-train: Autonomous railway is the largest robot in the world

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The world's largest robot has been unveiled and it is a completely autonomous railway system. AutoHaul has been developed by a mining firm and is being used to transport iron ore from mines to shipping ports 500 miles away (800 km) in Western Australia. This journey can be completed in just 40 hours, including the loading and dumping of the ferrous cargo. Its deployment is the end result of a project which has so far cost $940 million (£740 million). Rio Tinto, the corporation that built the infrastructure and hardware for the locomotive, says this could be the first step in transforming the firm's 1,000-mile (1,700-kilometre) network connecting 16 iron ore mines and two ports.

Artificial intelligence bot trained to recognize galaxies


IMAGE: Fourteen radio galaxy predictions ClaRAN made during its scan of radio and infrared data. All predictions were made with a high'confidence' level, shown as the number above the detection... view more Researchers have taught an artificial intelligence program used to recognise faces on Facebook to identify galaxies in deep space. The result is an AI bot named ClaRAN that scans images taken by radio telescopes. Its job is to spot radio galaxies--galaxies that emit powerful radio jets from supermassive black holes at their centres. ClaRAN is the brainchild of big data specialist Dr Chen Wu and astronomer Dr Ivy Wong, both from The University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).

World's Largest Robot Hauls Ore Through Western Australia

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

It's often the case that the more useful a robot is, the less exciting it is. The robots that do the hardest jobs tend to be straightforward solutions to straightforward problems, because that's what works. The (self-declared) world's largest robot is an efficient, grubby example of this--it's an autonomous train that recently hauled 28,000 metric tons of iron ore 280 kilometers across the Australian desert. Australia is a big place, and it takes a lot of effort to get material out of the middle of Australia (where it's not useful) to the coast (where it can be taken somewhere that it is). Trains are the most efficient way of doing this, and they travel back and forth through a whole lot of nothing, taking ore from mine to port and bringing the empty cars back again.