Fully automated navigation with robotics loading/unloading Port design

Anyone who is interested in coming up with a proposal for a new generation of container ports can now do so in a competition that has a top prize of US$1 million (S$1.4 million).
The aim of the Next Generation Container Port (NGCP) Challenge is to achieve three targets – port performance, productivity and sustainability – for a new generation of container port that is set 10 years in the future.
Jointly organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), the NGCP Challenge was officially launched today by Captain M Segar, MPA’s Assistant Chief Executive (Operations), at Mandarin Oriental Singapore.
Participants will be required to consider several operating specifications such as a handling capacity of at least 20 million twenty-foot equivalent units, 24/7 operations and a 90 per cent berth on arrival for ships.
Their design should also be operational within the given land profile and also be environmentally sustainable.
These specifications are challenges currently faced by many established container ports around the world.
The winning proposal will be announced at the next Singapore Maritime Week (SMW), which will take place from April 7 to 12, 2013.
In addition to the top prize, MPA and SMI will also set aside $5 million in R&D grant to develop promising proposals and concepts.
Before the winner and commendation awards are announced, shortlisted proposals will also be displayed in a public exhibition that will be held in conjunction with SMW 2013.
“As a leading container hub port, it is important for Singapore to continually innovate and leverage on cutting-edge technologies to operate the container ports of the future.
“The NGCP Challenge serves to support SMI’s R&D strategy on R&D for breakthrough applications as well as to develop our thought leadership in port design,” said Mr Heng Chiang Gnee, Executive Director of SMI.
Registration for the international competition is open till July 31, 2012.
Participants will have to submit their proposals by Dec 31, 2012.
Submissions will be evaluated by an international panel, comprising representatives from the Singapore government and the maritime industry.
For more details on the challenge statement, visit http://www.maritimeinstitute.sg/portchallenge.
Solved it in 5 minutes, you want more details, show me a video of the exact port operation and I will customised the solution.
My design contains a radar system that will be triggered when the ship approaches port which will also trigger a range of cctv cameras that will guide the ship to dock. Upon docking, cctv cameras will activate robotics which will automatically unload the containers and transport them to a storage facility that is like an open warehouse which is automated and can store up to 30 stories high of containers compared to the present. Everything is controlled by computers, you need to key in the details and robots will fetch the containers for you, even load it up to ships as it is intelligent and every process is automated, requiring less than 10 staff for every shift, running 24/7, 365 days a year. Sorry but I will not be participating in the contest, it is well below my standards and I am not a design architect.
– Contributed by Oogle.


What happens when oil rises to US$300 a barrel? Are you prepared for it?

Oil fell from the highest level in almost four weeks in New York, trimming a second weekly gain, after a cut in Spain’s credit rating renewed concern that Europe’s faltering economy may curb fuel demand.
Futures slipped as much as 0.8 percent after New York-based Standard & Poor’s reduced Spain’s rating to BBB+ from A and said the nation may have to provide fiscal support to the banking sector as the economy contracts. Prices also dropped after reaching technical resistance. West Texas Intermediate crude may decline next week after economic confidence in the euro-region fell and the U.S. economy grew less than forecast, a Bloomberg News survey showed.
“The economic outlook is a little bit worse than some months ago because of the big risk in the euro zone,” said Sintje Boie, an analyst at HSH Nordbank in Hamburg who predicts prices will remain near their current levels until the middle of the year. “It’s more the geopolitical risk that’s holding prices up.”
Crude for June delivery slid as much as 81 cents to $103.74 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $104.30 at 1:36 p.m. London time. The contract rose 43 cents yesterday to $104.55, the highest close since April 2. Prices are up 1.2 percent this week and have posted a similar gain this month.
Brent oil for June settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange declined 34 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $119.58 a barrel. The European benchmark contract’s premium to U.S. futures was at $15.28 a barrel.

Chart Resistance

Oil in New York has technical resistance along its 50-day moving average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Futures halted yesterday’s advance near this indicator, which is at $105.10 a barrel today. Sell orders tend to be clustered near chart-resistance levels.
Prices may decrease next week on lower euro-region confidence and signs the U.S. is struggling to address unemployment levels, a Bloomberg survey showed. Sixteen of 37 analysts and traders surveyed forecast oil will drop through May 4. Twelve respondents predicted futures will rise and nine estimated there will be little change.

Economic Outlook

Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S., rose at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. That followed a 3 percent pace in the prior quarter and compared with the 2.5 percent median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
U.S. jobless claims fell to 388,000 last week from a revised 389,000 the prior week, the highest since early January, according to Labor Department data yesterday. An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 17-nation euro area slid to 92.8 from a revised 94.5 in March, a report by the European Commission in Brussels showed.
“It’s quite clear in West Texas terms that we’ve moved back into the trading range between $103.50 and $108.50, and at this stage we’re not looking at any factors over the next few weeks that are likely to drive us out of there,” said Michael McCarthy, a chief market strategist at CMC Markets Asia Pacific Pty in Sydney. “Europe is an important economy to the globe but we don’t see it as a major engine of growth.”
The countries using the euro accounted for about 12 percent of global oil demand in 2010, according to BP Plc (BP/)’s Statistical Review of World Energy. The U.S. was the biggest crude user, responsible for 21 percent of world consumption.
Libya plans to surpass its pre-rebellion crude output by about June and will soon start its largest refinery that was damaged during fighting last year, Nuri Berruien, chairman of state-run National Oil Corp. said yesterday. Production is expected to climb above 1.6 million barrels a day, he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sharples in Melbourne at bsharples@bloomberg.netTo Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net
Do not think oil prices will gradually increase in price, it will spike tremendously when they cannot find enough oil from their exploration to fuel the world’s demand, the cost of exploration will increase tremendously as oil becomes scarce, and the producers will pass the costs back to the comsumers. Therefore are you prepared to pay US$300 a barrel in 10 years time? What will be the impact? What will happen to your petrol driven car? Are there any alternatives? Who can afford to pay oil at that price? There is no replacement of oil consumption for aircrafts, but there are alternatives for others if you act now. What is Superinflation? What will be the prices of homes then? Car prices? Will drop because no ordinary person can buy a petrol driven car, they need to look for battery powered, CNG etc. Then Food? Jobs? The list goes on. Only the rich can afford to buy energy from a centralised utility grid provider, most will install solar panels to cut their utility usage, utilising decentralised energy grids. Are yo prepared for the future? Singapore is walking down the path of Ireland when that happens, no reforms, mass emigration, collapse of banking and property markets, what resources do we have to combat global competition, the Celtic Tigers of the EU will be a reminder of the once Tigers of the Asean economy.

– Contributed by Oogle.

Tiny crystal advances computing

The University of Sydney
Friday, 27 April 2012

A tiny crystal that enables a computer to perform calculations that currently stump the world’s most powerful supercomputers has been developed by an international team including the University of Sydney’s Dr Michael Biercuk.
The ion-crystal used is poised to create one of the most powerful computers ever developed, with the results published in the journal Nature on 26 April 2012.
“Computing technology has taken a huge leap forward using a crystal with just 300 atoms suspended in space,” said Dr Biercuk, from the University’s School of Physics and ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems.
“The system we have developed has the potential to perform calculations that would require a supercomputer larger than the size of the known universe – and it does it all in a diameter of less than a millimetre,” said Dr Biercuk.
“The projected performance of this new experimental quantum simulator eclipses the current maximum capacity of any known computer by an astonishing 10 to the power of 80. That is 1 followed by 80 zeros, in other words 80 orders of magnitude, a truly mind-boggling scale.”
The work smashes previous records in terms of the number of elements working together in a quantum simulator, and therefore the complexity of the problems that can be addressed.
The team Dr Biercuk worked with, including scientists from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, Georgetown University in Washington, North Carolina State University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa, has produced a specialised kind of quantum computer known as a ‘quantum simulator’.
Ever since Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman highlighted the potential of quantum computing in the 1980s, scientists have been attempting to build quantum computers capable of solving some of the largest and most complex problems. Special-purpose quantum simulators have tremendous potential to solve a variety of challenging problems in materials science, chemistry, and biology, with much greater efficiency than conventional computers.
The research team’s revolutionary crystal exceeds all previous experimental attempts in providing ‘programmability’ and the critical threshold of qubits (a unit measuring quantum information) needed for the simulator to exceed the capability of most supercomputers.
“Many properties of natural materials governed by the laws of quantum mechanics are very difficult to model using conventional computers. The key concept in quantum simulation is building a quantum system to provide insights into the behaviour of other naturally occurring physical systems.”
Much like studying a scale model of an airplane wing in a wind tunnel to simulate the behaviour of a full-scale aircraft, tremendous insights about difficult and complex quantum systems can be gleaned using a quantum ‘scale model’.
“By engineering precisely controlled interactions and then studying the output of the system, we are effectively running a ‘program’ for the simulation,” said Dr Biercuk.
“In our case, we are studying the interactions of spins in the field of quantum magnetism – a key problem that underlies new discoveries in materials science for energy, biology, and medicine,” said Dr Biercuk.
“For instance, we hope to study the spin interactions predicted by models for high-temperature superconductivity – a physical phenomenon that has yet to be explained, but has the potential to revolutionise power distribution and high-speed transport.”
The experimental device provides exceptional new capabilities which allow the researchers to engineer interactions which mimic those found in natural materials.
Remarkably they can even realise interactions that are not known to be found in nature, engineering totally new forms of quantum matter.

Editor’s Note: Original news release can be found here.