Regal jumping spider aids British scientists to make huge leap forward in robotics

British scientists have made a huge leap forward in robotics by studying the regal jumping spider.

The jumping spider can leap up to six times their body length from a standing start - where humans can only manage about 1.5 body lengths.

And experts say the study can help design a new generation of robotics, BBC reported.

The regal jumping spider is distinguished by its capacity to pounce on its prey with extreme accuracy.

The research on the spider involved filming the arachnid with super accurate cameras to dissect the body mechanics of it's leap.

3D scanning of the spider's legs were also carried out to build a real life model of them.

Govt moves 'a step closer' to Auckland's two light rails, with NZ Super Fund proposing to design, build and operate

Auckland's light rail is a "step closer", with the procurement process agreed by Cabinet today, in addition to a proposal from the Superannuation Fund to design, build and operate the network. 

It is anticipated the two light rails will be able to travel 11,000 commuters an hour, "the equivalent of four lanes of motorway", Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today in a statement. 

Minister of Finance Grant Robertson said "New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) will now set up a robust process to explore a range of possible procurement, financing and project delivery options".

"The procurement process covers both the city to Mangere and the city to North West lines.

"This process will invite and assess all potential proposals and report back to the Ministers of Finance and Transport. The Transport Agency will work with the Treasury and the Ministry of Transport in this process."

"The recently announced 10-year transport plan for Auckland earmarked $1.8 billion in seed funding with the option of securing private investment in the network."

The government revealed it had received an unsolicited proposal from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund last month, "which proposed they would form an international consortium to design, build and operate Auckland's light rail network," Mr Twyford said. 

"The government will not be commenting further on the proposal other than to say that we welcome the strong interest in light rail and acknowledge that any investors will require a reasonable commercial return. The procurement process agreed by Cabinet will review all other proposals in the same way as the Super Fund's proposal is assessed."

NZ Super Fund released a statement saying it wants to explore "NZ Super Fund-led consortium leveraging our international relationships can fund and deliver the project, on a fully commercial basis", said acting chief executive Matt Whineray.

The light rail lines are expected to be completed in the next 10 years. 

The Government isn't convinced light rail is the right answer to Auckland's congestion issues.
Source: 1 NEWS


‘It’s like an electronic call for help’ – new app could save the lives of those suffering a cardiac arrest

Only 12 per cent of New Zealanders survive a cardiac arrest, but a new phone app could change that figure.

GoodSAM is an app which alerts members of the public to those nearby who are in cardiac arrest.

“It’s like an electronic call for help that can alert community bystanders who can provide early intervention of CPR and defibrillation in those critical minutes before an ambulance arrives,” Bridget Dicker from St John told 1 NEWS.

The first five minutes of a cardiac arrest is the most crucial with the chance of surviving more than doubling if the patient receives CPR.

The app works by showing the registered user the location of the patient and the closest AED or defibrillator, which is crucial for CPR.

British neurosurgeon Dr Mark Wilson came up with the idea to create GoodSAM and launched the app in the UK five years ago.

“It really came from a critical need more than anything else.

“I see a lot of people who through one way or another through trauma or cardiac arrest, they lose neurons i.e. the brain has a bit of an injury from hypoxia, lack of oxygen,” Mr Wilson told 1 NEWS.

“You’re never going to have enough ambulances to get someone there within 30 seconds or within a minute every time. So we can use technology to provide that kind of care.”

Nearly 2,000 people have signed up to use the app in New Zealand since its launch here in December.

New Zealand is also the first country to let anyone with CPR training and can use an AED or defibrillator to sign up.

St John and Wellington Free Ambulance are encouraging anyone who feels confident in performing CPR to sign up to the app.

The GoodSAM app is designed to alert people nearby to those having a cardiac arrest. Source: 1 NEWS