first_imgThe site of the proposed Donlin gold mine, which would be one of the biggest in the world (KYUK photo)Gov. Bill Walker made headlines this past weekend after he requested that the Army Corps of Engineers suspend the Environmental Impact Statement for the controversial Pebble mine in Bristol Bay.Listen nowBut Walker, who is running for re-election as an independent, and three other top gubernatorial candidates have pledged support for the Donlin mine, which would be the one of the biggest gold mines in the world. Walker says Donlin so far appears to be following the rules of regulatory process.“I have to have a pretty strong reason to not support something and so I’m still looking at that, but what I know of it I’m comfortable with,” Walker said.Walker’s competitors tout other benefits of the Donlin mine. Former Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell is running as a Republican. Treadwell praises Donlin’s promise to bring more jobs to the Y-K Delta.“There are mines around the state that employ a lot of people and it’s one of the most important things we can do for regional development,” Treadwell said.The project also proposes a 315-mile-long gas pipeline from Cook Inlet to fuel the mine’s operations and power demands. Former state Senator Mike Dunleavy, who is running as a Republican and will face Treadwell in the GOP primary in August, says that pipeline is a huge energy opportunity for the Y-K Delta and the state.“A lot of spin-off industries will benefit from it in the Y-K Delta and Southcentral Alaska so I think it’s a huge opportunity for Alaska,” Dunleavy said.Former United States Senator Mark Begich, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in the primary, has voiced support for Donlin for years and believes the project on Native Corporation land can co-exist with the subsistence lifestyle in Western Alaska.“They’ve understood the value of fishing and they understand the importance of it to subsistence lifestyle,” Begich said.The Donlin mine would increase barge traffic on the Kuskokwim River, the food source for many residents in the Y-K Delta.It will require large treatment facilities for mercury and cyanide coming from the mine’s operations. Donlin has already received a water permit from the state to discharge wastewater into Crooked Creek, which drains into the Kuskokwim River.People living the Y-K Delta are also worried about what will happen after the mine stops producing. The site would have to be monitored forever, once it ceases operations.Gov. Walker says he doesn’t see the state relaxing monitoring enforcement, even with the budget crunch the last couple of years. He’s confident the state can adequately regulate the mine.“We certainly we have laws in place,” Walker said. “I believe if we need to strengthen those laws, then let’s strengthen those laws.”Treadwell and Dunleavy will battle each other in the August primary for the Republican nomination. On the Democratic side, Begich is unopposed, and the winners will face Governor Walker in November.last_img

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first_imgSammilito Jatiya Jote, led by Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad holds meeting with election commissioners at Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital on Wednesday. Photo: Zahidul KarimSammilito Jatiya Jote, led by Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad, has urged the election commission (EC) to announce the schedule of 11th parliamentary elections on Thursday.The 15-member delegation of the alliance made the call during a meeting with the election commission at Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital on Wednesday, reports UNB.Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda and other election commissioners were present at the meeting that began around 11:35am.During the meeting, the Jatiya Jote leaders placed various demands, including cancellation of electronic voting machine (EVM) use in the next general elections and deployment of army as a striking force.Jatiya Party secretary general ABM Ruhul Amin Hawladar, its presidium members Anisul Islam Mahmud, Mujibul Haque Chunnu, Syed Abu Hossain Babla, MA Sattar, Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu, Delwar Hossain Khan, Sunil Shubho Roy, SM Foysal Chisti, Abdus Sabur and Shafiqul Islam Sentu were among the delegation memebrs.last_img

first_img“Swarm-bot combines the advantages of multi-robot and modular robot systems,” said Groß of the robot’s intelligence. “The component modules of swarm-bot, the s-bots, are fully autonomous and mobile, and they choose whether to assemble into a bigger entity to perform a task.”Each s-bot can perceive and connect only with its neighbors. However, as the assemblages build incrementally, the process allows for far-reaching connections. Additionally, in their tests, the scientists found that the more s-bots available, the higher the connection performance (up to 100%). Further, the bigger the swarm-bot structure becomes, the more surface it provides for potential connections—increasing the swarm-bot’s growth rate. The scientists explain that such super-linear growth likely occurs due to the decentralized control and evolutionary control design of the system.“Simulations with up to 100 modules indicate that a high density of modules is required to self-assemble a single artifact,” Groß said. “If the initial density of modules in the environment is too low, spare modules can lose visual contact with each other and consequently do not assemble. However, the control can easily be extended to let such isolated modules explore the environment. Ideally, the size of the final artifact should only be limited by the amount of resources, that is, the abundance of modules and the energy to charge them.”While the scientists did not design the swarm-bot for any particular application at this stage, a variety of applications that require high flexibility and autonomy could potentially benefit from this concept. Future tasks might include planetary precolonization, deep sea exploration, underground search for energy resources, and search and rescue missions, the group says. The scientists report that the swarm-bots have already succeeded in crossing ditches, transporting small heavy objects, and navigating rough terrain—none of which a single s-bot could have accomplished alone.Citation: Groß, Roderich, Bonani, Michael, Mondada, Francesco, and Dorigo, Marco. “Autonomous Self-Assembly in Swarm-Bots.” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 22, No. 6, December 2006.By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. In one of the latest studies on autonomous robots, scientists sat back and watched as their robot created itself out of smaller robotic modules. The result, called “swarm-bot,” comes in many varieties, depending on the assigned task and available components. As the current state of the art in autonomous self-assembly, swarm-bots offer insight into the potential versatility and robustness that robots may possess to perform missions beyond human abilities. Citation: Robot builds itself for special tasks (2007, February 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-02-robot-special-tasks.html (Left) The rigid gripper used to connect s-bots. (Right) Three s-bots form a swarm-bot that can climb a step. Credit: Groß et al. ©IEEE 2006. A project coordinated by Professor Marco Dorigo, which was sponsored by the Future and Emerging Technologies program of the European Community, provided the impetus behind the swarm-bots. The researchers built small identical robots that can sense and latch onto each other to self-configure a giant specimen with no center of command. Looking sort of like a train or a swarm of bees, swarm-bots can assemble themselves up to any finite size, the scientists predict.“As components of many living systems, the s-bots of our system can self-organize,” co-author Roderich Groß told PhysOrg.com. “Each individual robot module, called an ‘s-bot,’ interacts only with other s-bots in its immediate vicinity. Failures that occur in one or a few s-bots are therefore unlikely to have any significant impact on the performance of the entire system. Also, the system does not require any supplementary equipment such as global communication channels. We make use of a design approach based on swarm intelligence and evolutionary computation principles, as it helps shape the control to be both reliable and effective even if large numbers of s-bots are involved.”center_img (Left) Independent s-bots with blue lights, and (right) s-bots joined into a swarm-bot with red lights. Credit: Groß et al. ©IEEE 2006. 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. Although a single s-bot is rather complex, the mechanisms used to create and control swarm-bots are fairly straightforward. The s-bots are 19 cm (7.5 in) high and weigh 700 g (1.5 lbs). They currently run on lithium ion batteries, with a lifetime of two hours. Around the center of an s-bot’s cylindrical body is a connection ring, which carries a claw-like gripper that can open and close around the rings of other s-bots. A loose grip enables some mobility, while a tight grip can enable lifting of the grasped s-bot.With a camera and eight colored LEDs, the s-bots can “communicate” with each other on their status. For example, blue lights mean that an s-bot is not connected, while a red light signifies that the s-bot has gripped another s-bot (or a passive object) and tells other s-bots to approach and latch on. A mobility system of tracks and wheels, or “treels,” enables the s-bots to navigate on rough terrain, and gives them good steering abilities. last_img

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