Britain’s new polar ship, ‘Boaty McBoatface,’ heads for open seas

Polar research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough sails out of the River Mersey at Crosby, north west England on Nov. 03, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 03 November 2020

Britain’s new polar ship, ‘Boaty McBoatface,’ heads for open seas

  • Officially the ship is named after the veteran BBC naturalist David Attenborough
  • Its departure from Liverpool was delayed by around a week due to stormy weather

NEW BRIGHTON, England: Britain’s new polar ship, the Sir David Attenborough, headed for the open seas on Tuesday to start trials after a storm delay, before making its maiden voyage to Antarctica next year for climate change research.
The $260 million, state-of-the-art, polar research vessel, with its red hull and a bright yellow crane on its stern, sailed past Liverpool’s historic docks and out into the sea, headed for north Wales.
Officially the ship is named after the veteran BBC naturalist David Attenborough, but to many Britons it will always be known as “Boaty McBoatface,” after that suggestion topped a public poll to name the vessel in 2016.
Its departure from Liverpool was delayed by around a week due to stormy weather, a British Antarctic Survey (BAS)spokeswoman said, with calm seas preferred to test and calibrate its specialist equipment for the first time.
It will remain at sea for just under a week before berthing in Holyhead, Wales, once the current Welsh coronavirus lockdown ends on Nov. 9, the spokeswoman added.
The BAS will operate the ship, carrying out ice trials in the Arctic in early 2021 before a journey to the Antarctic in November next year, where scientists say it will transform UK research in polar regions.


Egyptian inventor trials robot that can test for COVID-19

Updated 25 November 2020

Egyptian inventor trials robot that can test for COVID-19

  • Cira-03 tests a patient for COVID-19 by cupping their chin and then extending an arm with a swab into their mouth
  • The creation can also take blood tests, perform echocardiograms and X-rays

TANTA: With Egypt facing a second coronavirus wave, an inventor is trialing a remote-control robot which can test for COVID-19, take the temperature of patients, and warn them if they don’t wear masks at a private hospital north of Cairo.
Mahmoud el-Komy, who designed the robot, called Cira-03, says it can help limit exposure to infection and prevent the transmission of the virus.
His creation, which has a human-like face and head and robotic arms, can take blood tests, perform echocardiograms and X-rays, and display the results to patients on a screen attached to its chest.
“I tried to make the robot seem more human, so that the patient doesn’t fear it. So they don’t feel like a box is walking in on them,” he said.
“There has been a positive response from patients. They saw the robot and weren’t afraid. On the contrary, there is more trust in this because the robot is more precise than humans.”
Cira-03 tests a patient for coronavirus by cupping their chin and then extending an arm with a swab into their mouth.
Abu Bakr El-Mihi, head of a private hospital where the robot is being tested, said they were using the robot to take the temperature of anyone suspected of having COVID-19.