Fed-up passenger sought fast track on Ryanair wing

A pilot disembarks a Ryanair flight at Stansted airport in London, Britain. (Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne)
Updated 03 January 2018
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Fed-up passenger sought fast track on Ryanair wing

MADRID: A Ryanair passenger who apparently got fed up waiting to get off a plane surprised fellow passengers by using the emergency exit to jump onto a wing.
The incident on New Year’s Day took place 30 minutes after the flight landed from London’s Stansted Airport, where it had also been delayed.
The man was coaxed back into the plane while police were called.
Fellow passenger Fernando del Valle Villalobos, who videoed the incident, said he heard the man say he got fed up waiting.
Police said Wednesday that they have opened a complaint against the man for breaching security. They confirmed he is a non-Spanish citizen.
Ryanair said the incident was now in the hands of Spanish authorities.


Put the toolbox away — new robot assembles IKEA chairs

Updated 19 April 2018
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Put the toolbox away — new robot assembles IKEA chairs

SINGAPORE: Sick of struggling with incomprehensible instructions and a baffling array of planks and screws? Help is at hand in the form of a new robot that can assemble an IKEA chair in minutes.
The robot, developed by scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, can put together the wooden IKEA chair in just eight minutes and 55 seconds — a swift timing that may give even DIY enthusiasts a run for their money.
The device, consisting of two mechanical arms with grippers, starts the process by taking photos of the parts spread on the floor with a 3D camera, which is supposed to mimic the cluttered environment after flat-pack furniture is unboxed.
Each arm has a similar range of motions to that of a human, while sensors mounted on the wrists monitor how much force is being exerted by mechanical fingers as it picks up tiny parts to expertly put the chair together.
“For a robot, putting together an IKEA chair with such precision is more complex than it looks,” said team leader Pham Quang Cuong, an assistant professor at the university.
“The job of assembly ... has to be broken down into different steps, such as identifying where the different chair parts are, the force required to grip the parts, and making sure the robotic arms move without colliding into each other.”
The team is now looking into further developing the robot so it can learn to construct furniture by copying humans, reading an instruction manual or even just viewing a finished product.
They are also working with the automotive and aircraft manufacturing industry where the robot could be used for such tasks as drilling holes in aircraft.
But those looking for help in assembling more household items from Swedish furniture giant IKEA may be disappointed — for now the unnamed robot can only construct a humble chair.