The Printed Dam.
1. China is using artificial intelligence to effectively turn a dam project on the Tibetan Plateau into the world’s largest 3D printer, according to scientists involved in the project. The 180 meter (590 feet) high Yangqu hydropower plant will be built slice by slice – using unmanned excavators, trucks, bulldozers, pavers and rollers, all controlled by AI – in the same additive manufacturing process used in 3D printing. When completed in 2024, the Yangqu dam will send nearly 5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity each year from the upper reaches of the Yellow River to Henan, the cradle of Chinese civilization and home to 100 million people. Read the rest. (Source: scmp.com)
2. The Bayraktar TB2 is a flat, gray unmanned aerial vehicle (U.A.V.), with angled wings and a rear propeller. It carries laser-guided bombs and is small enough to be carried in a flatbed truck, and costs a fraction of similar American and Israeli drones. Its designer, Selçuk Bayraktar, the son of a Turkish auto-parts entrepreneur, is one of the world’s leading weapons manufacturers. In the defense of Ukraine, Bayraktar has become a legend, the namesake of a baby lemur at the Kyiv zoo, and the subject of a catchy folk song, which claims that his drone “makes ghosts out of Russian bandits.”
The TB2 has now carried out more than eight hundred strikes, in conflicts from North Africa to the Caucasus. The bombs it carries can adjust their trajectories in midair, and are so accurate that they can be delivered into an infantry trench. Military analysts had previously assumed that slow, low-flying drones would be of little use in conventional combat, but the TB2 can take out the anti-aircraft systems that are designed to destroy it. “This enabled a fairly significant operational revolution in how wars are being fought right now,” Rich Outzen, a former State Department specialist on Turkey, told me. “This probably happens once every thirty or forty years.” (Source: newyorker.com)