Iran says US talks ‘futile’, denounces black American’s death

first_imgDecades-old tensions between Tehran and Washington have soared in the past year, with the sworn arch enemies twice appearing to come to the brink of a direct confrontation.The tensions have been rising since 2018, when President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a landmark nuclear accord and began reimposing crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy.That was followed by the US drone strike near Baghdad airport in January that killed Soleimani, a hugely popular figure in the Islamic republic.Days later, Iran fired a barrage of missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq in retaliation, but Trump opted against taking any military action in response.Ghalibaf called for ties to be improved with neighbours and with “great powers who were friends with us in hard times and share significant strategic relations”, without naming them.The 58-year-old Ghalibaf is a three-time presidential candidate who lost out to the incumbent Hassan Rouhani at the last election in 2017.The newly elected speaker had also served as Tehran mayor and the Islamic republic’s police chief before taking up his latest post.In a tweet on Saturday, he slammed what he called the United States’ “unjust political, judicial, and economic structure”.This had been “pumping war, coups, poverty, indiscrimination, torture, fratricide and moral corruption to the world, and racism, hunger, humiliation, and ‘choking by knee’ in its own country for hundreds of years”, Ghalibaf said.”What can one call it if not the Great Satan?” he added, using Iran’s term for its arch enemy.Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed his remarks on Twitter.”Some don’t think #BlackLivesMatter. To those of us who do: it is long overdue for the entire world to wage war against racism. Time for a #WorldAgainstRacism,” he said.The post was accompanied by an image of a 2018 statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which the text was changed to be critical of the United States instead of Iran.The altered text read: “The US government is squandering its citizens’ resources.”The people of America are tired of the racism, corruption, injustice, and incompetence from their leaders. The world hears their voice.”Pompeo responded to Zarif by tweeting that “you hang homosexuals, stone women and exterminate Jews”, without elaborating further.Topics : Ghalibaf also vowed revenge for the US drone attack in January that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards’ foreign operations arm.”Our strategy in confronting the terrorist America is to finish the revenge for martyr Soleimani’s blood,” he told lawmakers, pledging “the total expulsion of America’s terrorist army from the region”.Ghalibaf has also slammed the US over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis which has led to widespread protests across the country.Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets from New York to Seattle demanding tougher, first-degree murder charges and more arrests over the death of Floyd, who stopped breathing after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Iran’s new parliament speaker said Sunday any negotiations with Washington would be “futile” as he denounced the death of a black American that has led to violent protests across the US.Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ air force, was elected speaker on Thursday of a chamber dominated by ultra-conservatives following February elections.The newly formed parliament “considers negotiations with and appeasement of America, as the axis of global arrogance, to be futile and harmful,” he said in his first major speech to the chamber.last_img read more

New Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta responds to Arsene Wenger saying he has ‘no experience’

first_imgArteta wants to get Arsenal back playing attacking, front-foot football (Picture: Getty)‘And I want to attack. I want to dominate the opponent, I want the opponent to play in their own half and I have to be able to tell the players what is going to happen before it happens.‘And if that’s the case, they will feel more secure, they will sleep better the night before, and they will be confident when they step onto the football pitch.’MORE: Sam Allardyce reveals how Steve Round will assist Mikel Arteta at ArsenalMORE: Mikel Arteta’s stern message to Per Mertesacker and Arsenal coaches after appointmentMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City New Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta responds to Arsene Wenger saying he has ‘no experience’ Comment Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 21 Dec 2019 6:08 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.8kShares The legendary French manager is largely supportive of the move to bring in Arteta (Picture: Getty)New Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta admits Arsene Wenger is right that he lacks experience for the role but believes he will quickly prove he has all the tools required to do the job.The Spaniard was unveiled by the Gunners on Friday, having failed to land the job back in 2018 when Wenger left the club, and sat in the stands to watch his new side take on Everton at Goodison Park in Saturday’s 0-0 draw.Wenger is a big fan of Arteta and was supportive of the move to bring him back to the Emirates, though he did concede that the novice manager lacked experience.center_img Advertisement Arteta beat off a host of more experienced and decorated candidates (Picture: Getty)Speaking earlier this week, Wenger said Arteta – who he made captain during his playing days at Arsenal – would have to ‘deal with the fact that he has no experience at that level’.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTWhile the 37-year-old concedes that his old boss is correct, he does not believe it will be an obstacle and is adamant his three-and-a-half years at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola will serve him well.Asked about Wenger saying he has no experience, Arteta told BT Sport: ‘He’s right. I won’t convince them today that it’s something different than the reality.‘But there are a lot of things in those three years [at Man City] that I have been doing that are really relevant to create a high-performance environment, and this is what we want to do here.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalArteta had a busy first day at Arsenal, doing interviews and meeting the media, and repeatedly used the phrase ‘ruthless’ – a quality he wants his new side to start showing.Asked if they are capable of that, Arteta continued: ‘I don’t know, I will find out very quickly, but we have to be dominant, we have to show passion and we have to show aggression. Advertisementlast_img read more

Back to the future: Five Gold Coast suburbs you should have bought in five years ago

first_img Hope Island’s median house price has grown by $470,000 since 2014.The median house price in Hope Island climbed the most since 2014, jumping 90.4 per cent to $991,000, according to CoreLogic. That’s a gain of $470,000 in five years. Tallebudgera Valley trailed, notching 63 per cent growth followed by Mermaid Beach, Palm Beach and Coomera, which all recorded more than 50 per cent growth.Real Estate Institute of Queensland Gold Coast chairman Andrew Henderson said the five suburbs offered something for everyone. “Palm Beach and Mermaid Beach would be there for the lifestyle and Palm Beach has seen a massive amount of redevelopment,” he said. “Coomera would be on there due to affordability and Hope Island, being exempt from FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) approval, would be a huge attraction for overseas residents. “Tallebudgera Valley attracts people looking for a tree change.” Real Estate Institute of Queensland Gold Coast chairman Andrew Henderson. Picture: Jerad WilliamsAs for where to buy to secure big gains in the next five years, Mr Henderson suggested looking south or to the top five areas’ sister suburbs.“Neighbouring suburbs are often the next suburbs to see the price growth,” he said. “The southern market offers a lot of attraction, especially with the airport proximity. “Currumbin Valley will offer that tree change and run off the back of the benefits of the growth in Tallebudgera Valley. “The most value for money is a place like Upper Coomera, being a neighbour suburb to Coomera. I think that’s where the current opportunities present themselves.” To be celebrating big house price gains in 2024, buyers have been told to look at the top five area’s sister suburbs.Professionals Vertullo Real Estate agent Mark Carew sells and lives at Hope Island and said his home had nearly doubled in price. “I have lived there for nearly 20 years, in both resorts (Hope Island and Sanctuary Cove) and my homes have appreciated a lot,” he said. “The resorts are running out of the land and people are seeing they need to get in now, otherwise they might miss out. “Stock is limited at the moment as people do see the growth and a lot of sellers have been holding back as the growth is still climbing year-on-year.” Hope Island joined the million-dollar club last month but latest CoreLogic data shows its median house price has since dropped slightly. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:03Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:03 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhat is a sister suburb? 02:03 WHERE YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT A HOUSE FIVE YEARS AGO 1. Hope Island Growth — 90.2% 2019 median — $991,000 2014 median — $521,000Difference = $470,000 2. Tallebudgera Valley More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoGrowth — 63%2019 median — $1.17 million 2014 median — $718,000 Difference — $452,000 3. Mermaid Beach Five Gold Coast suburbs have notched impressive median house price growth in the past five years.HOMEOWNERS who bought in five Gold Coast suburbs five years ago will be rejoicing after the areas notched huge gains to house prices. And for those who wish they could turn back time, they might not have to look too far to be celebrating their investment in 2024. MORE NEWS: The mansion house hunters can’t get enough of Growth — 55.7% 2019 median — $845,4002014 median — $543,000 Difference — $302,400 5. Coomera Growth — 58.8% 2019 median — $1,397,500 2014 median — $880,000Difference — $517,500 4. Palm Beach Despite notching impressive growth, Coomera’s median house price was still in the more affordable price bracket and sat below the Gold Coast’s overall median of $650,000. Ray White Pacific Pines agent Sebastian Ross said nearby suburbs might be the next areas to mirror what had been happening at Coomera. “Oxenford and Pacific Pines offer really good value for money for first-home buyers all the way up to people who want property with nice views,” he said.“That pocket has some really good growth to do and Parkwood is another really big one to watch.” MORE NEWS: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Pink’s holiday house for sale Growth — 52.8%2019 median — $549,9852014 median — $360,000Difference — $189,985last_img read more

Petronas taps Tanjung for Bayan offshore production unit

first_imgMalaysia’s oilfield services provider Tanjung Offshore Services (TOS) has received a letter of award from Petronas Carigali for the leasing, operating, and maintenance of a mobile offshore production unit (MOPU) for the Bayan Gas Development Project Phase 2.Petronas twin towers in Malaysia; Source: Unsplash; Author: Vlad ShapochnikovTanjung said on Thursday that the contract was won by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company and its consortium partner VME Process Systems Malaysia on January 30.The company added that the value of the contract was based on the contract price as stipulated in the letter of award.The effective date of the contract is February 1 and the acceptance date is 27 months from the effective date. The time charter period is for ten years from the acceptance date.According to previous announcements by Petronas Carigali, phase two of the Bayan gas redevelopment in the Balingian PSC offshore Sarawak, Malaysia, will entail drilling of four wells at the existing BYDP-C drilling platform.IHS Markit said in July 2019 that the company had been mulling a MOPU unit for a while and that it was supposed to be bridge-connected to existing riser platform BYR-A.IHS also said that a new 12.7 km full well stream pipeline would be installed from BYDP-C to BYR-A, and modification and upgrade works would be carried out at existing facilities in the Bayan complex.Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product, or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

Healthcare workers find ally in Bacolod city vice mayor

first_imgIn a letter made by Riverside MedicalCenter (RMC) Corporate Communications head Chuck Estrella and addressed to NegrosOccidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, some of their employees were deniedrides by pedicab or jeepney drivers after the first COVID-19 positive patientwas admitted at the facility. She pointed out that even before thepatient tested positive for the ilness, the patient had already been placed inan isolation room, and the medical staff who did get exposed are already onquarantine. Benjamin further pointed out that thepublic should discriminating medical workers, as they also need mental andemotional support. In another letter made by Dr. ConnieRose Benjamin of the Philippine College of Physicians-Negros Occidental, sheurged Lacson to intervene over the matter pointing out not all medicalpersonnel in the said hospital have been exposed to the COVID-19 positivepatient. According to Familiaran the RMC shouldfind a way to solve the problem of their employees by providing themtransportation, a quarters for the night shift personnel. BACOLOD City – Vice Mayor El CidFamiliaran expressed his dismay over the supposed discrimination of hospitaland health workers from the local community just because they are at thefrontlines of the efforts to battle the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). He said that the city has severalbuses of the Vallacar Transit Inc. but they being utilized to transportfrontliners of the city government deployed at check points around the city./PN Coffee shops also reportedly deniedentry for RMC medical staff and some were even verbally harassed by policeofficers. They also received reports that some landlords and neighbors of thesemedical workers are ordering their staff to vacate the premises fearingpossible contamination. “After all the sacrifices they make,including risking their lives, this is what we expect them to face?”Estrella questioned. This was after a group of theemployees of the RMC asked the intervention of the provincial government ofNegros Occidental due to the discrimination they have been getting. “Indisila dapat pag i-discriminate kay konma burnout na sila kag kon magmasakitwala na sang may matatap pa sang pasyente sa ospital,” stressed Familiaran,who chairs the local inter agency taskforce against the viral disease. last_img read more

Smith scores Davenport Modified win

first_imgBy Mike McGuireDAVENPORT, Iowa (July 4) – Another large field of Milan Heating and Air IMCA Modifieds was on hand Friday at Davenport Speedway with another surprise winner.Rich Smith, in just his second start at Davenport this season, led all 20 laps en route to the victory. Tony Von Dresky scored a second place finish with Bruce Hanford finishing third. Doug Crampton and Mitch Morris were fourth and fifth, respectively. Justin Kay chalked up win number four in the Petersen Plumbing & Heating IMCA Late Model action.Kay needed 23 laps to run down Mike Murphy Jr. and take the lead. Murphy finished second, with Andy Nezworski a distant third. Ray Guss Jr. and Ben Nading rounded out the top five. Tyler Soppe collected his second Hawkeye Auto IMCA SportMod win of the season. Soppe grabbed the lead after a lap five restart and never looked back. Bryce Garnhart got close but couldn’t make a pass for the lead and had to settle for second. Dustin Crear had a solid run in third and was followed to the checkers by Eric Pollard and Jarrett Franzen.last_img read more

Successful Season Comes to an End in the Preliminary Round

first_img Share Successful Season Comes to an End in the Preliminary Round Nov. 10, 2007SAINT LEO, Fla. – The successful West Florida season came to an end against Gulf South Conference rival Montevallo (14-6-0) on Friday night on the campus of Saint Leo University. The Argonauts faced the Falcons for the third time in 14 days and fell short 2-0 to finish the season with a 15-4-0 record.Coming off a loss to Montevallo in the GSC Tournament final and a 1-1 record against the Lady Falcons, West Florida was determined to revenge the last weekend’s loss. Statistically, the Argonauts had better number than the Lady Falcons, out shooting them 14 to 1 and had a match advantage in corner kick, 12-1, however the Argonauts were not able to finalize the play and touch the back net.Both teams started strong, however neither had good opportunities to score early in the match, both team were playing a “ping pong” game in the midfield, trying to keep possession of the ball. The Argonauts had a few good opportunities to score before the halftime, but were unable to capitalize the chances.After the scoreless halftime, both teams came back to the field with the same starting lineup as the first half. In an attempt to be more offensive, the Argonauts tried a few changes in the strategy, playing sophomore Anastasia Prescott at midfield, while the Lady Falcons played defensively. A fast counterattacks is how the Lady Falcons scored their first goal at around 53 minutes to get the 1-0 lead.The Argonauts upped their offensive attack following the Lady Falcons goal but never could score the equalizer. In the second half, out of eight shots from the Argonauts, only two of them required a safe from the Lady Falcons keeper. Montevallo managed the 1-0 lead, and scored once again in a counterattack when there was only five minutes to go in the match. With a 0-2 disadvantage, and only five minutes to go, the Argonauts did not have enough to bounce back.”We didn’t play our best soccer out there tonight, but I am really proud of my players,” said head coach Joe Barlintski. “They really gave everything they had and left it out there on the field. I would say Montevallo was well coached and deserved it tonight. My nineteenth season as a coach comes to an end, but I happy with the season we had.”At this point last year we had so many injuries, but this year our youngster took care of themselves. I am happy we were unbeaten in the conference and I know this team gave their best potential throughout the year. I am really proud of my two seniors, Brandi Adams and Marie Hastings, but it is time to get the players ready for next season.”West Florida’s successful run ends with a 14 match winning streak and an 8-0-0 GSC record. The Argonauts allowed only one goal during their regular season conference schedule and next season, the Argonauts return nine out of 11 regular starters, along with four key red shirts expected to return from injuries.With the win, Montevallo advances to the second round of the NCAA national tournament against Saint Leo University, on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. taking place on the Lions Campus.(by Gui Amaral Jasmin) Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Stenson Beats Mickelson to Win at Royal Troon

first_imgHenrik Stenson carded a joint record eight-under-par 63 yesterday to win The Open by three shots after an enthralling final-round tussle with Phil Mickelson.The Swede, 40, birdied four of his final five holes to win his first major with an Open Championship record score of 20 under par at Royal Troon.Mickelson, 46, had an eagle and four birdies in a 65, while fellow American JB Holmes (69) was third on six under.They finished on the same mark as Spain’s Sergio Garcia (69), and one behind American Steve Stricker (69).Like McIlroy, Jordan Spieth saved his best round of the week for Sunday, the American’s 68 lifting him to two over.Crowd favourite Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston got to seven under before the 27-year-old Londoner faded to a final-day 73 and eighth on three under.Defending champion Zach Johnson (71) ended one under, alongside English duo Andy Sullivan and Matt Southgate, the Essex golfer who conquered testicular cancer.England’s Masters champion Danny Willett closed with a level-par 71 for seven over.Stenson becomes the first Scandinavian golfer to win a major with victory at Royal TroonHis 20-under total eclipsed Tiger Woods’ 19-under-par record total in winning The Open at St Andrews in 2000.The Swede’s 63 also beats two-time Open champion Greg Norman’s 64 at Royal St George’s in 1993 as the lowest final round by a champion, while his aggregate score of 264 beat the Australian’s four-round total of 267, set the same year.Stenson becomes the fourth man over 40 to win the Claret Jug in the last six years – following Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke (Sandwich, 2011), Ernie Els (Lytham, 2012) and Mickelson (Muirfield, 2013).The pairing of Stenson and Mickelson over the final 36 holes drew an obvious comparison with the 1977 Open on this same stretch of Ayrshire coast, when Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus fought their famous ‘Duel in the Sun’ over a red-hot two days at neighbouring Turnberry.At Royal Troon, Stenson began the day a shot ahead on 12 under, only to lose the lead by the end of the first hole, as he bogeyed and Mickelson birdied.Stenson responded by knocking in five birdies in his next seven holes to edge one clear of Mickelson who managed one birdie and eagle.They were level again when Stenson bogeyed the 11th but he was back in front with a birdie on the 14th and went two clear for first time when he rolled in a 45-foot putt across the 15th green.A third successive birdie on the 16th was matched by Mickelson and the American then rolled in an excellent par-saving putt on the 17th to stay two adrift going down the last.But the five-time major winner left his approach to the 18th 30 feet short of the cup while Stenson fired to 15 feet and rolled in to match the 63 Mickelson opened with on Thursday.The left-hander, who finished third the last time The Open was staged at Royal Troon in 2004, dropped just four shots in his four rounds and his 17-under total would have have won 140 of the previous 144 Championships.“I played well enough to win by a number of strokes and got beat,” said Mickelson who has now finished runner-up in a major on 11 occasions.“I’m happy with the way I played, but disappointed it wasn’t enough. I played a bogey-free round and shot 65 in the final round of a major, usually that’s good enough to do it. And I got beat.”World number four McIlroy started his final-day charge with a birdie at the second – and picked up three more, at the fifth, sixth and ninth holes.But a wayward drive down the right, which lead to a hack out of gorse, at the hardest hole of the week, the 11th, brought him his first bogey and another followed at the 12th. Birdies at the 13th and 17th holes saw him get back to four under.“I was hoping to play that back nine under par at least one day this week, but it was not quite to be,” said McIlroy.“If I could take anything back it would be the first nine holes on Saturday, but I’ve done pretty well, considering everything.”Spieth, 22, started the day on five over, 17 shots off the pace and the highlight of his round was an eagle three on the par-five fifth.“I’m going to spin it however I can,” said the two-time major winner. “In the half of the field we were in, what looks like a top-30 finish is a real positive.”Englishmen Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and David Howell all ended their weeks with sub-par rounds to create a trio on one over for the Championship.Westwood had four birdies in his front-nine 32 on the way to a three-under 68, while his former Ryder Cup team-mate Howell had just one bogey and two birdies in a 70 that was matched by Rose, whose three birdies were soured by bogeys at 5 and 15.Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie was the first player out on the course on Sundaymorning and he closed what he hopes will not be his final Open appearance with a five-over 76 to finish on 17 over.Wales’ Jamie Donaldson had a quadruple-bogey eight on the par-four 12th in an eight-over 79 and 13 over total.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Finalists for Scripter Awards announced

first_imgEstablished by The Friends of the USC Libraries in 1988, the USC Libraries Scripter Award recognizes the screenwriters behind the year’s strongest cinematic adaptations, in addition to the author of the written work upon which the screenplay is based.The finalists for this year’s 25th annual ceremony are the authors and screenwriters of Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Silver Linings Playbook.Only five adaptations are traditionally chosen as finalists, but this year a tie caused six to be chosen from a field of 82 candidates. Notable Scripter winners of the past include The Descendants, The Social Network and Schindler’s List. The inaugural awards in 1988 honored author Helene Hanff and screenwriter Hugh Whitemore for 84 Charing Cross Road.USC Libraries will name the winning authors and screenwriters during a black-tie ceremony on Feb. 9 at Doheny Memorial Library, and the selection committee will feature award-winning screenwriters, authors and faculty.Golden Globe-winning screenwriter Naomi Foner and Howard Rodman, USC professor and vice president of the Writers Guild of America West, will co-chair the event, with Academy Award winners Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford serving as honorary dinner chairs.last_img read more

Viterbi students program underwater gliders

first_imgDoctoral student researchers in several fields are collaborating to explore the possibilities of engineering, computer science and biology through the use of autonomous underwater vehicles.Ocean gliding · The ocean gliders, which roam the ocean floor and can test and gather data, were enhanced by engineering students. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanStudents in the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Robotic Embedded Systems Laboratory and USC(sea) Lab have been able to do this by programming underwater gliders that will roam the sea, testing and gathering data that is essential to biological research conducted by other students.Chairman of the Computer Science Department Gaurav Sukhatme, who is overseeing the project, said the research is actually composed of a series of projects.“We are interested in understanding how to build robots that are intelligent and that can survey the ocean,” Sukhatme said. “This has been about a decade-long activity, so what you are seeing are our latest set of experiments in our long-term endeavor.”Sukhatme said the project is not without challenges, especially when it comes to adapting computer science for the rigors of real-world applications.“We are a bunch of computer scientists, and we are specializing in computer intelligence,” Sukhatme said. “But just to work in the actual ocean, we have to do a lot of things to integrate our ideas with ocean-going hardware and get it to work reliably in the ocean.”Arvind Pereira, a fifth-year doctoral candidate studying computer science and the student leader of the lab conducting the joint research effort, said the research group is augmenting pre-existing technology with new technology to fit the project.“We decided not to make our own glider because we did not want to spend time developing a system that is already out there and seems to be working quite well,” Pereira said. “Instead, we wanted to focus more on engineering the new things in it, which would allow us to use the preexisting glider and make it smarter. In computer science we do that through improvements in software and hardware.”Dave Caron, a professor of biological sciences, said these vehicles are not only cost- and time-efficient, but can also stay out on missions for a month at a time and reach places where human divers could not go.“The idea of the robotics is that we will have a continuous presence in the ocean and that is basically what we have developed,” Caron said. “We have developed technology and approaches that allow us to know what is going on in the water on a constant basis, so that when something is beginning to happen, we can be there as it unfolds, rather than be there after the fact. That way we try to understand what the environmental conditions are that give rise to the toxic algae that we see in the water.”Caron said the collaboration and teamwork better these very different fields is necessary to achieve both groups’ ultimate goals.“It’s a huge environment, so if we tried to keep track of things by simply going out there, we would not be able to cover the area or the time,” Caron said. “We want to be able to have a finger on the pulse — know exactly what’s going on and when things look like they will be informative to us. Then we can get out on the ship and do our sampling and experimental work.”Caron said he works closely with the bioscience side of the project, which has been going on for almost a decade. During this time, he has seen results in not only the project itself, but in the students participating as well.“I think the students benefit tremendously because they get essentially an interdisciplinary training,” Caron said. “They not only are versed in the robotics and the computer science of it, but they understand … how their approaches can benefit other aspects of science and engineering and, in this case, the biology of coastal oceans.”Bridget Seegers, a doctoral student studying biology, said the intertwining of science and engineering has been mutually beneficial for both sides.“[The robotics group] definitely has a different set of skills than we have, so it’s been nice having them help us with data processing. They do things a little more efficiently that help save us some time,” Seegers said. “Even though you are working together, you have slightly different goals, because we are interested in the science and they are interested in the engineering aspect. I think we have come to the spot where we can do both those things. There is a lot of understanding between the groups and working together to make sure everyone’s goals are realized.”However, Caron said collaboration and cooperation is not always easy. With so many different ideas and backgrounds, the diversity presented its own problems.“The most challenging aspect of this has been that we have biologists and engineers and computer scientists and robotics people sitting down at the same table and trying to talk, and we often have very different jargon, very different terminology,” Caron said. “We spend a great deal of time making sure we understand each other when we start speaking in our respective jargons. The communication issue is a significant one, and we do spend a lot of time on that — making sure that we really understand each other when we talk.”Caron also noted other challenges the team faces.“The other thing that I think is challenging and that we work very hard at is that we always try and pick a topic that will be interesting to both the engineers and the biologists and to the computer scientists in general,” Caron said.Though people focus on their individual interests, Caron said it benefits the project’s progress.“We have people who want to do just the hardware robotics, we have people who want to do the computer programming, we have people who want to use the information to understand biology and we try to make sure that whatever problem or issue that we pick is interesting in all aspects of those endeavors so that everyone has research to do.”Overall, Sukhatme praised the effects collaboration praised the positive effects of collaboration.“It’s wonderful,” Sukhatme said. “It’s absolutely superb. We learn a lot from each other and it makes us ask questions that we wouldn’t normally ask.”last_img read more