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Summer/Autumn 2016



Contents 1

Ceo’s Welcome


Apprenticeship Update


MICTA – Bus-Man App




Work Experience


Talking Points


The Verge

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Hi Robot! Greetings, humans


Code Club Update


Tech Talk with BPD




CONNECT Spring 2016 Issue

CEO’s Welcome

Kurt Roosen CEO MICTA This has been a very busy period for MICTA. We have instigated our Apprenticeship Scheme which involved 17 of our member companies and attracted 37 candidates. This represents a milestone for us that we are determined to build on over the coming years working together with our colleagues in the Manufacturing and Utilities sectors to look at attracting STEM students in general into the "tech" space. We also saw the second cohort of students in the Careers Ready programme complete their internships and present their projects, with all convinced that an IT career was the one for them. This is expanding out to all secondary schools next year so we will be looking for 20 placements. We also signed an MOU on greater cooperation in Isle of Man projects with the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT which we hope will eventually lead to them having a physical presence on the Island. I was also fortunate to be able to spend some time at the TMFORUM Smart Cities conference in Yinchuan in China. There were 90 countries represented there and we have been fortunate to have been invited to participate in the steering committee on this subject which may allow us to present the Isle of Man at next year's conference in front of 10,000 delegates. The future for ICT on the island is looking bright as it's proportions and capabilities increase, but it is important that we continue the momentum so looking forward to working closely with the new administration to progress the excellent work of the last two years.




MICTA Apprenticeships 2016 ‘harnessing fresh talent’ MICTA members, together with the Department of Economic Development and University College Isle of Man, have developed a new two-year Digital Apprenticeship Scheme, giving young people the opportunity to work for some of the most exciting and dynamic companies in the ICT sector. The apprenticeship scheme will assist the Island’s skills gap by offering ambitious people the path to a successful career in digital technology. The apprenticeship will combine workplace experience, with classroom and remote learning. The Apprentices will be employed for the duration of the apprenticeship, paid a wage and gain exposure to the ICT community on the Island. Providing apprentices with a quality experience, picking the right candidate and integrating them into a host company is vital. We advertised the scheme with press releases and an advert in the Courier and Examiner and on IOM Today and The advert was kindly created by Jim Rawson at PDMS. We also worked with the Job Centre and local schools to promote the scheme. The companies that have taken part are shown in the logos within this advert. Please contact Kurt if you would like to take part next year.


MICTA received 35 candidate applications from varying backgrounds and ages. It was clear from the applications that many of the youngsters lacked confidence and interview skills. MICTA CEO Kurt Roosen arranged to meet with local training providers TLC Ltd. Managing Director Sue Gee was glad to help. Sue had been involved in the NEETS (Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training) and knew exactly how she could assist the candidates to meet our host employers; and enable them to put their best foot forward.



“ Why did you apply to become an apprentice?

Here are Just some of the comments from our candidates

My goal is to work as part of an ICT team and I feel that the apprenticeship approach will give me the opportunity to gain good practical experience whilst studying for a level 3 vocational qualification in IT at the University College Isle of Man.

“I have completed my level 2 BTEC and have always wanted a career in IT.


Why I am applying, because I think it would a great way to get into the IT/ICT industry and start my path to a career”

“I have a love of IT and hope this could be a change in career path that will work well for future years”

Your chance to shine The ‘speed dating/interviews were held at the Nunnery Chapel complex, MICTA Members involved in the scheme set up their own interview areas and the candidates had a schedule created by Kurt after he had carefully screened the candidates matching candidates aspirations to host companies. Each candidate was allocated a ten minute slot with the potential employer. A car was driven into the quadrant of the chapel complex and its horn was sounded for the interview changeovers. Candidates walked around the complex with their map and schedule and commented that it was great fun and they were really enjoying the experience. Both the candidates and host employers completed a critique sheet and the employers are currently contacting the candidates to hold second interviews prior to placement offers. We look forward to introducing you to our Apprentice Scheme 2016 intake in the next our Connect addition.

DED Minister Skelly stated that he was “Enthused by the level of interest at the speed date/interview event for ICT apprenticeships”

7 Parents and candidates find out more, in the scheme information hub at the Nunnery Chapel

MICTA – Bus-Man App‌

A new public transport app has been launched to help users track and plan their journeys. An App called 'bus-man' has been developed which tracks all of the Island's public transport and displays up-todate information for travellers. Buses, electric trams, steam trains and even horse trams now have their real time positions shown and whether they're running to time




Intern update Working closely with Career Ready, several of our members have taken on interns to assist with various specific IT projects this summer. The internships span over a 4-6 week period. Follow the progress of our MICTA member interns over the next few pages.

Internships aren’t about making the coffee! The MICTA members who participated in this years programme and were very positive about the benefits of exposing a sixth form student to their company. It really wasn’t about making the coffee! The students have contributed to many projects and brought many innovative fresh ideas to our members.

Take Part Next Year…. We are looking for more members to take part next year and hope you can help us. If you would like to learn more, please contact Owen Cutajar, MICTA Education Liaison, at or on 303765.



What skills have you used within the role?

Name of Student: Kristina Buck Company: Futuretech Ltd How did you hear about the intern scheme? The internship is organised by a program called Career Ready. I heard about Career Ready, and the internship through a newspaper article about other high schools participating in the program. I decided to look further into it because I was astonished that my school wasn't already registered for it.

What made you want to take part? I have taken Computer Science as an A level, and am hoping to take it at university as well. Completing an internship is really good for experiencing IT in the world, and it has many other benefits as well, from developing my communication skills, to teaching me computing techniques that I've never seen before. What better way to gain transferrable 'soft' skills than working in an environment that's similar to one you see yourself in in the future?

What made you choose the company you are working with? I wanted to work with Futuretech because of the variety of things they do. Because they are an IT Consultancy firm principally, there is the always the possibility of something new, and every task is completely different.

I have definitely had to be resourceful in finding ways to solve problems, especially when I get stuck! The role has also required a good deal of organisation and selfmanagement, as sometimes I am doing multiple tasks at once and having to stay aware of anything that could go wrong. I also had the opportunity to develop my communication skills, as the visit to PDMS required a very professional manner, considering in that instance we were the client.

Could you recommend an internship to other students? I would absolutely recommend an internship to other students. Working with Futuretech has been nothing like any other work experience I have done, and it has already taught me so much. The biggest difference between an internship and work experience is that you get paid, so you feel a greater sense of responsibility to work hard and give 100%. I would also particularly recommend Futuretech as a place to do an internship, as all the people are very helpful and you get to experience a variety of tasks in a relaxed environment that is really nice to work in. It is important to gain as much experience as you can so that you can be prepared for the world of work, and internships do exactly that.

What is the best part of the internship? The best part so far has been maintaining websites for clients by fixing bugs in back-end code and adding pages. This has been really interesting, because each problem in each site is different, so you stay on your feet trying to find the solution, and when you do find it, it is very satisfying. I also enjoyed this because the results are very visible; you can see the improvements you're making so you feel as though you have achieved a lot.

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Name of Student: Lewis Dawson Company: PDMS Limited How did you hear about the intern scheme? The intern scheme was explained to me by Jo Davis the Career Ready Coordinator and that the intern would be 4-6 weeks in the summer break. What made you want to take part? I wanted to take part because I think it is a great way for me to further my knowledge on coding and also what it is like in a working environment.

What made you choose the company you are working with? I never got to choose, the internships were assigned to us and I think I got PDMS because Peter Quayle is my mentor for the Career Ready. What is the best part of the internship? The best part for me is the fact I gain valuable experience in a working environment and learn to use different programming languages. What work have you been given? I have been working on the Employed.IM website making a FAQ section and improve the current opportunities.

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What skills have you used within the role? The skills I have used are that I have used a wide range of different programming languages and some I have never used making it a great learning point.

Could you recommend an internship to other students? Yes, because I believe they are a great way to do work–based learning and for someone like me I learn something better from practicing rather than trying to revise it. It also gives them experience as to what it is like in a workplace.

Name of Student: Rose ten Donkelaar Company: noc396 How did you hear about the intern scheme? During sixth form option evening at my school, a representative for the program was there and explained to me what the program was. What made you want to take part? Mainly the thought of getting work experience. I want to work in the IT industry so an opportunity like this would really help me.

What made you choose the company you are working with? We didn’t choose our companies, although I’m very happy with where I’m placed.

What is the best part of the internship? The freedom to go ahead and work on a project that’s actually useful. What work have you been given? Figuring out SharePoint and how to use it to create electronic versions of paper forms, while also doing various other mini things occasionally. What skills have you used within the role? Research skills and resourcefulness.

Could you recommend an internship to other students? Yes of course!


Work Experience Update took on the Year 10 Work Experience contract with Department of Education & Children in October 2015. Lorna Trevethan was appointed as Work Experience Coordinator and commenced in the role on 1st December 2015. It has been a steep learning curve both for Lorna with getting to grips with the role of coordinator and all that entails, and for PDMS as a software company developing the portal that is used to manage the work experience programme. Lorna has had to make contact with employers and secure placements for students, maintain the database, liaise and build relationships with the coordinators in schools, attend assemblies and lessons, as well as attend a week long IOSH course to ensure that she is able to undertake the necessary Health & Safety Checks. On top of the actual process of securing placements, Lorna has been instrumental in the ongoing development of the portal,, to ensure that it is as user friendly and as efficient as possible, having changes implemented very quickly when necessary. Lorna has also joined Junior Achievement as a volunteer to help support the wider careers programme on the island.

Overall, the first year of the contract has gone well. There are areas we can improve on, such as on-going communications with employers from when they initially agree to offer placements, to when schools actually send students. We will be developing the portal to enable employers to offer placements through, which we hope will reduce paperwork, administration time and allow them to review for themselves whether placements have been selected by students.

During her 8 months in the role Lorna has ensured that there have been sufficient, suitable placements for every student that has needed one. This amounts to approximately 900 students, and has included some very specific placements for Year 10 students in the Learning Support Units in the schools when appropriate.

. If you can offer a placement. Please Contact Lorna Trevethan MBA Work Experience Placement Co-ordinator


Due to the success of the first year of the contract, we are in negotiations with DEC to extend the contract so that we can cover all work experience for students in education on the island. The details of this are still to be confirmed. We believe by providing all work experience coordination, it will help students and employers alike to have a central point of contact for work experience, and a central database that can be accessed anywhere, by those who need it. Have to sounds a bit like we don’t want to !!!

The Platform is in constant development, with the latest version being set for release at the end of September. The development of features is led through actual user requirements, including users from the implementation of the PDMS Employed Platform that is in Fife Scotland. Through recent developments, organisations are now able to use online applications for jobs and other schemes, which locally, MICTA are using for the application process of the apprenticeship scheme. Our experience since gaining the work experience contract only serves to support the need for a more joined up local labour market, and the need for an easy to use central portal to be able to identify skills gaps, record and organise interactions between education and employment and to provide a one-stopshop for information about careers and employability matters on the Isle of Man.

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Talking Points – In this issue we remember Rio 2016 to find out what technology has done for the Olympics


Rio Olympic Technology Innovations The 2016 Summer Olympics was a triumph for team GB. Five technology innovations introduced for the sporting competitions in Rio de Janeiro proved to be winners too! NFC for payments Visa and Brazilian bank Bradesco trailed wearables including a bracelet equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC) technology for payments at the Olympic Games. A user base of 3,000 people including athletes, artists and journalists taking part in the sporting events will be using the rubber waterproof bracelet to pay for goods and services inside the Olympic venues at more then 4,000 payment terminals.

As well as the new bracelet, Visa is also introducing another NFC device at Rio, a payment ring backed by a Visa account.

In addition, a group of 45 Visa-sponsored Olympic athletes will wear an NFC ring, which is based on a design by McLear & Co and equipped with a Gemalto microchip and will also be used for payments during the Games.

Underwater lap counters were first introduced at the world championships in 1 Rio 2016) 2015 (Photo:


The new scoring system improves accuracy and enhances spectator experience (Photo: Rio 2016/Mathilde Molla)

Digital Technology and the Olympics: When Is it Cheating? Mark Yalton

We all know how close we are to our mobile devices and digital technology, and how much we rely on these new tools – 87% of us use our mobile device while on the go and 81% of users read email on their mobile – and all of us use some combination of the web, mobile, video, social media, computing power, collaboration tools, and digital networks in our daily business lives.

We take advantage of advanced digital technologies for efficiency, effectiveness, and loftier performance in business, so why wouldn’t an athlete use these technologies to their advantage while in training or on the field of athletic competition? NFL quarterbacks have in-helmet speakers and microphones to get plays called-in from the coaches on the side-lines (as noted by the green sticker on the back of the helmet). The America’s Cup racing teams go to elaborate measures and spend incredible sums of money to hone their boat hull technologies for competitive advantage. Better strength-training machines (and outlawed performanceenhancing drug cocktails) optimize the human body for maximum performance. Special fabric technologies reduce wind- and water-drag for a few hundredths-of-a-second advantage in skiing and swimming competitions. The examples are all around us, in virtually every sport or game, including the university-level, professional, and the Olympics.

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Competitive Advantage from Technology in Business and Sports – Where’s the Line? Is this a fair practice? If everyone has equal access to the technology, then is it fair? What about “rich” teams or countries having an advantage over their “poor” competitors? At what point does technology tip beyond being a clever innovation along the continuum of progress to cross the line into cheating for unfair advantage? I don’t think I’m equipped to draw that clear line, but I do want to raise the question for you to ponder if you watch the Winter Olympics and revelled in the performance of extraordinary athletes aided by their technological innovations. Here are a few digital technological advances used in the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi:

Omega Bobsled Data Collector: Swiss watchmaker Omega designed a measuring unit that mounts on the front of the bobsled; it has a speed sensor, 3D acceleration sensor and 3D gyro-sensors to track speed and velocity angles. Using this data, coaches and athletes can work on specific ways to optimize run times and strategies. Ice Skating Sensors: Using a form of motion capture technology, an ice skater straps on body sensor that translate movements into a 3D graphic. Coaches use the model to evaluate the skater’s technique – much more efficiently than they can without the technology, accelerating the skater’s ability to learn jumps and spins.

Training Aps: Ubersense Coach, is an app to improve an athlete’s performance through slow motion video analysis. The bobsled team has been using this app; it records the activity of the athlete and has the ability to break it down into super slow motion, allowing comparison of technique side-by-side for analysis and any flaws in performance. Coach’s Eye, also a video analysis app, is in use by the freestyle mogul athletes; it allows trainers to break down footage of practice jumps in extreme detail (frame by frame in high resolution) and make instant technical adjustments and send recommendations to the top of the hill. It also allows for ‘remote’ coaching, the coach can be in another location (or state) to review and send feedback. And of course, there is much more: Olympic wear – a heatpant that maintains muscle warmth when the athlete is not competing. The use of social media by the Jamaican bobsled team to solicit crowdsourced donations to fund their trip to Sochi. Snowboarders are now using eye-tracking goggles that have two cameras, one focused the user’s eyes and one on the track ahead.

Digital Technology and the Olympics: When Is it Cheating? For our next Connect Issue why not take part in our forum: What Do You Think about the “Technology Advantage” in Athletics? What other technologies do you know of that are in use in the Rio Olympics, or in other major sporting/athletic events? How do you feel about drawing the “line” between fair or unfair competitive advantage from technology? How do you think this is resolved – if it ever is, given the ongoing march of technology?

Mach 39 speed skating suit – designed by Lookheed Martin, this new ‘skin’ is designed to reduce drag on the skater.

We are interested in your perspective and your observations as we formulate an industry opinion on “drawing the line” on the “fair” use of technology in sports.

Sled redesigned by BMW – the US bobsled team had their sled redesigned: narrower, sleeker and wrapped in carbon fibre, hoping to win the first Olympic goal for US in 78 years.

Meanwhile, for those of us who enjoy leading-edge of technology, it was sure fun to watch, while considering the future implications, how far we’ve come, and how much more is possible.

Sky TechSport Sochi Simulator – uses GPS to create a digital environment that’s a replica of the Sochi mountain course; allowing snowboarders to educate themselves and ‘practice’ 1 through twists and turns, even mimicking real wind conditions, vibrations and 8 even g-force effects.

Email me if you would like to take part.

The Rio 2016 Olympics will be a defining moment for virtual reality The use of virtual reality during the 2016 Rio Olympics will set a precedent for the way future generations consume sport and entertainment, writes Aegis Data CEO Greg McCulloch Rio de Janeiro played host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, producing a spectacular sporting event that channels the true spirit of fun, passion and excitement that the Latin American region is known for. Hosted for the first time in South America, this is not the only first for the Games, as it will also enable spectators from across the globe to join in with the carnival atmosphere by watching some events in 360 degrees. Whether it’s joining Usain Bolt track-side for the 100 metre sprint or cheering on Jess Ennis-Hill in the heptathlon, viewers with a compatible virtual reality (VR) headset will be able to watch select events live in VR, while VR footage will also be available as on-demand content to those without a headset. While the availability of VR technology will be limited to a few select events, it does represent a defining moment for how people might view sport and entertainment in the future.

With global sporting events on the horizon such as the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia, we can expect to see the availability of VR opening up a whole new economic and technological proposition for sports teams and the public, and organisations will inevitably seek to make the most of that. The opportunities VR represent are immense but in order for it to realise its potential, assistance from data centres will be just as crucial. The Rio Olympics feels very much like the start of what will be a gamechanging moment for how we as spectators consume sport. In time, these immersive experiences will only improve and in light of this the data centre industry is arguably best placed to provide the necessary speed, connectivity and data storage capabilities needed to support this flourishing market. Traditionally, data centres are already a proven solution in responding to the latest technological demands. As seen with the rise of streaming services, online gaming and increased IoT applications, data centres have effectively supported the copious amounts of data, which are now being generated by organisations of all shapes and sizes. Additionally, with rent for data centres being 30-40% cheaper in the previous year, it seems highly likely that data centres will continue to provide a costeffective and viable solution. One of the biggest concerns VR is likely to face, particularly with the streaming of live sporting events, will be the need to ensure contingency measures are factored in to prevent against loss of speed and connectivity. By being able to provide additional layers of security via the implementation of back-up structures, and physical and technical facility security able to respond to network outages, this will provide that added level of reassurance.

In order to support the growing VR market, data centres will have to upscale too. As the technology continues to mature, the data centre community should be using this time to upscale their technology capabilities to handle increased demands. This should include analysing consumption patterns across different industries to detect fluctuations, as well as connectivity or security issues that may arise. The Games will likely provide invaluable data around this, which will allow data centre operators to enhance their future-proofing capabilities and build into other entertainment and sporting event planning. Having dedicated fibre connections to key internet exchanges, as well as continuously testing disaster recovery options, will enable customers to benefit from a seamless and unhindered experience, and prevent organisations suffering financially from unnecessary downtime. The opportunities for VR technologies are huge but the assistance from data centres will be just as important. IoT, streaming content and gaming have only increased the dependency of data centres in coping with the vast amounts of data needed to support these new technologies. VR is just another example of this and as the technology evolves and our viewing habits become more immersive, it is imperative that the data centre community has the scalability in place to support this.

Interesting Tech Trends from Nintendo shares plummet after investors realize it doesn't actually make Pokémon Go If you haven’t heard of this new trend where have you been? Nintendo shares have skyrocketed since Pokémon Go's release and instant transformation into global cultural phenomenon, but they fell dramatically today after investors realized that Nintendo doesn't actually make the game. Nintendo put out a statement after the close of trading on Friday pointing out that the bottom-line impact will be "limited" as it only owns 32 percent of The Pokémon Company, and that revenue from the game and its Pokémon Go Plus smartwatch peripheral have been accounted for in the company's current forecasts. Pokémon Go is a collaboration between The Pokémon Company and Niantic Labs, the developer who previously created the similar AR game Ingress as part of Google. This apparent revelation caused shares to plummet in Monday trading, with the stock dropping 17 percent at one point, representing about $6.4 billion in value; as Bloomberg notes, Tokyo stock exchange rules prevent share prices from moving more than 18 percent in a single day.

Nothing that Nintendo said was new information It appears that Nintendo's huge stock bump, which took the company past Sony in market capitalization, was fueled by investors with the misguided belief that Pokémon is wholly a Nintendo creation and that the company would benefit accordingly. Nothing that Nintendo said in its announcement on Friday was new information — there isn't a Nintendo logo to be found anywhere within Pokémon Go itself, and the status of the game's ownership has been clear since it was announced last year. Nintendo does have its own mobile initiative in partnership with DeNA, and will soon release games based on the Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem franchises. Those are the titles with the potential to bring serious financial reward to the company if they perform well. Pokémon Go, on the other hand, simply serves as an example of how Nintendo IP could flourish when smartly deployed in the smartphone world. The good news on the Pokémon Go front is that the game finally launched in Japan just ahead of the weekend, and I can tell you that it's already a phenomenon unlike anything I've ever seen here. There's no telling whether it'll have staying power, but you can't walk anywhere in Tokyo without finding someone attempting to catch a Psyduck. More than 10 million people had downloaded the game just hours after it became available.

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Interesting Tech Trends from Facebook takes flight Inside the test flight of Facebook’s first internet drone On this day, Aquila would have its But it will also enable the next By Casey Newton

At 2AM, in the dark morning hours of June 28th, Mark Zuckerberg woke up and got on a plane. He was traveling to an aviation testing facility in Yuma, AZ, where a small Facebook team had been working on a secret project. Their mission: to design, build, and launch a high-altitude solar-powered plane, in the hopes that one day a fleet of the aircraft would deliver internet access around the world. Zuckerberg arrived at the Yuma Proving Ground before dawn. “A lot of the team was really nervous about me coming,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with The Verge. A core group of roughly two dozen people work on the drone, named Aquila (uh-KEY-luh), in locations from Southern California to the United Kingdom. For months, they had been working in rotations in Yuma, a small desert city in southwestern Arizona known primarily for its brutal summer temperatures.

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first functional test flight: the goal consisted of taking off safely, stabilizing in the air, and flying for at least 30 minutes before landing. “I just felt this is such an important milestone for the company, and for connecting the world, that I have to be there,” Zuckerberg says. For Facebook, Aquila is more than a proof of concept. It’s a linchpin of the company’s plan to bring the internet to all 7 billion people on Earth, regardless of their income or where they live. Doing so will lift millions of people out of poverty, Zuckerberg says, improving education and health globally along the way.

generation of Facebook’s services in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and more. This next era of tech will require higher bandwidth and more reliable connections than we have today, and drones can help deliver both. The road to a VR version of Facebook begins where Aquila leaves the runway.

No Its not April the 1st! A Dutch inventor has started work on his next project - a cow drone. Bart Jansen is best known for turning his dead cat Orville into a drone. His next flying venture aims to see humans riding on their animals in the sky‌. "I never know what the next thing is going to be but what I do know is that we've wanted to build a helicopter for ourselves," Mr Jansen said. "One that we can fit in and we have been thinking about designing one that you can sit on and flies. "If I'm going to fly, I want to fly in something weird. So we've been thinking about animals that are big enough to fly in. "We have a cow at the moment - it's at the tannery right now. It's going to be like a bovine personnel carrier, but airborne."

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Meet Ostrichcopter - probably the world's only flying ostrich!


New trials for delivering goods by drones By Richard Westcott Transport correspondent, BBC News The government's getting together with the retail giant Amazon to start testing flying drones that can deliver parcels to your door. Amazon's paying for the programme, which will look at the best way to allow hundreds of robotic aircraft to buzz around Britain's skies safely. The company claims it'll eventually mean small parcels will arrive at your house within 30 minutes of ordering them online. Ministers say they want to pave the way for all businesses to start using the technology in future, but they will still have to convince the public that having automated drones flying around is both safe and won't invade people's privacy. Three big problems The trials will look at cracking three big problems: How can you operate drones safely beyond "line of sight"? The current rules say a pilot has to be able to see the aircraft at all times How can you build a drone that won't bump into things? Much like autonomous cars it would need sensors to help it avoid objects How can2you build a system where one pilot is responsible for many drones?


The government says the work will help it draw up new rules and regulations for the future, so that all companies can take advantage of drone technology, which it claims could eventually be worth billions. •Amazon says it is conducting the trials in Britain, because the regulations are more flexible than in other countries. How will they work? A number of systems are being tried, but the current favourite seems to be a machine that's part aeroplane and part helicopter. It can fly at 50mph (80km/h) for 10 miles (16km) or more away from base, at a height of around 350ft (100m). When it reaches the delivery address, it comes down vertically onto a special landing mat that the buyer will place on their property. So you could have parcels popped into your back garden for security.

The company also claims it's working on ways to make the machines quieter and it says they won't have cameras on, just sensors. That privacy question is something that came up a lot when I chatted to people on Maidstone High Street the other day. Maybe the Amazon drones won't be filming, but people are worried other drones would. Sheffield University professor Noel Sharkey - a robotics expert who co-founded the Foundation for Responsible Robotics and is currently a judge on the BBC's Robot Wars programme - voices concern about the growth of drones. "All information is stealable and all drones hackable", he tells me. "Anybody could steal one to deliver drugs or bombs. "The Taliban have been hacking into military drones for years, stealing video feeds, using a bit of software they got from Sweden. Hezbollah did it for years with Israeli military drones. "In 2012 the US Army warned people that it couldn't help making accidental recordings while flying over houses; so filming people in their back gardens, for example." The future Prof Sharkey also says he worries that the aviation authorities are interested in safety, but not privacy. He describes a sudden increase in flying drones as a "nightmare scenario". "We need a broader societal discussion; not just the government and Amazon getting into a huddle for the sake of the economy." It's impossible to say how many parcels we're talking about as Amazon doesn't give figures. But it would be anything weighing less than 2.2kg (5lbs) and that is 80-90% of the things they sell. Ministers say they want to create an environment where drones can be operated safely, beyond the line of sight, by 2020. It may be Amazon today, but the question is: Who'll want to use drones in future?

For more stories like this visit

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Whether you like it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) and robots are going to be a big part of the future workforce. Steven Craven from PWC gave a very interesting and thought provoking talk at our MICTA Connect August Meeting held at PWC the presentation lead to a very interactive discussion between the members. Steven has recently had an article about this subject published in Money Media and has presented his thoughts to the Institute of Directors. We have been very privileged to be able to publish his article on the following pages which we hope you will enjoy reading.

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2 6 CONNECT - Summer 2016 Issue

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CONNECT Spring 2016 Issue

Greetings, humans.. The robot evolution is happening. It’s been underway for a while, a slow mechanic whirr in the distance of our awareness. During that time many mis-understandings have formed. It’s time to arm yourself with some fascinating factoids. Here’s ten facts to help you prepare for the accelerating robot revolution. 1. Where did the term “robot” come from? The word “robot” was first used in 1921 by Czech playwrite Karel Capek in his pla y RUR, Rossum’s Universal Robots (1921) about the destruction of humanity by robots . 2. Robots are ancient history, over 2,000 years in fact. The history of robotics stretches back 2,400 years. The first robot was a steam-powered “pigeon,” created around 400 to 350 BCE by the ancient Greek mathematician Archytas, known as the father of engineering. He was using the robot to study birds in flight. For some, the march of progress has been slow compared to the images portrayed in popular science fiction. But now, they are beginning to make the transition from science fiction to science fact. We are starting to see them more frequently in our factories, workplaces, and homes. The distance between the hopes and fears of science fiction and the reality of current technology is beginning to close. Some experts believe we are on the precipice of a massive robotics revolution. Whether you fear robots, love them, or ignore them, some of these experts believe that soon some of us will work with them, be transported by them, perhaps even fall in love with them. 3. Robot law and ethics are forming and entering the mainstream human culture. The Standford Law website has a section known as Cyberlaw and discusses things like robots, war, and ethics. In a world where robots are used to kill in war, survey for law enforcement, and assist in surgery, perhaps it’s a good thing to consider the legal and ethical ramifications of these autonomous, moving machines.

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Robot Laws A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


4. Speaking of laws, there’s more than the famous Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics. Isaac Asimov created the famous 3 laws of robotics (“Runaround” Astounding Science Fiction, 1942): A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. However, he’s not the only one to have created three laws of robotics. According to his book Junkbots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels cowritten with Dave Hrynkiw, Mark Tilden of Los Alamos National Laboratories explains how modern robotic innovators have moved past some of those classic assumptions. Tilden created his own laws: 1. A robot must protect its existence at all costs. 2. A robot must obtain and maintain access to a power source. 3. A robot must continually search for better power sources. He also wrote, “His justification was that given present and foreseeable technology, Asimov’s laws make for incredibly boring robots. Heck, if an Asimovian robot has enough power to push a vacuum cleaner into your toe (assuming if it could even recognize the difference between your toe and the toy lying on the floor), it’d be too nervous to get any practical work done.” Tilden goes on to create guidelines for roboticists using the acronym B.E.A.M., which stands for: Biology, aka biomimetics and using nature as inspiration for design and evolution; Electronics, the brains of the operation; Aesthetics, clean functional engineering has a beauty all its own; Mechanics, it’s got to move to be a robot and this is the way.

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5. Robots are learning to communicate with human language and facial expressions. M.I.T. has had Kismet, a robot learning facial recognition, since the 1990’s and recently a robot has taught itself how to smile using machine learning according to Wired. 6. Robots are still not that smart and may never have true emotions. Machine learning is powerful technology but it’s not the same as learning to become your evil robot overlord. Even though amazing, the power of machine learning is limited and not the same process as human thought. “A mathematical framework for consciousness, developed over the last decade by Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shows that computers cannot handle the complex processes needed to mesh pieces of information together seamlessly,” as written in the Daily Mail. That leaves us with a low likelihood of genuine emotional robots in the future. So tuck away those fears of nightmarish images of Skynet and Hal 9000 for a while. That’s good news too, because they are coming to live with us.

What's going on at Code Club?

So what's new at Code Club? Well, we're starting an 'Introduction to Linux' strand, aimed at those wanting to learn more about this Operating Systems, and in particular, those who have been playing with their Raspberry Pi and looking to delve deeper into what this Open and free operating system can offer. It's being led by someone who has many years of experience in this space, so should be both interesting and informative.

Summer is always an interesting time at Code Club. We tend to slow down our scheduled classes, as both members and volunteers tend to be on holidays at different times, as focus more on ad hoc meetings and subjects. We do tend to vary how we do this though, based on what classes are running and what sort of demand we have. This year, in fact, we have stopped our Scratch classes over the summer months and will be starting again in September. We are still running our HTML and CSS class, as attendance is still strong, and have a few more weeks of this. However, we don't have any scheduled sessions in the Code Bus and most of our other sessions are in a free format, running based on who is present and what technologies people want to play with.

We're also starting to play with the Internet of Things (IoT) which is the term given to a concept where everyday objects are connected to the Internet, both to provide sensing capabilities and also provide the ability to interact and exchange information. We're deploying a technology called LoRaWAN ( Overview ) that allows these objects to interact with one another over a large area. This will be a free network allowing devices all over the Isle of Man to connect to the Internet and be used for innovative new ideas and applications. If you want to learn more about what we're doing, check out this video:

And we have no lack of technologies to play with. We have 3D printers available, Virtual Reality headsets, Augmented Reality kits and all sort of other cutting edge technology. We also have a number of Lego Mindstorms kits being used for robotics projects, as well as electronics projects using Arduinos, Raspberry Pis and Code Bugs. As always, we use these to introduce both young and old to programming, and use them to illustrate and teach various development approaches.

We're always looking for new ideas and projects to engage on at Code Club, so if you have initiatives you'd like to discuss, feel free to get in touch

Owen Cutajar, founder and MICTA Education Liaison Officer

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Congratulations from all the Code Club volunteers and everyone at MICTA To Rob Woodmiller and Andrea Lener from erocket who tied the knot this summer on one foot Island.

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In this issue of Connect our Tech Talk victim is Greg Wright of BPD Concrete Products. Greg uses state of the art technology in the engineering department of his high tech factory based in Jurby. Digital technology enables Greg and his team to create intricate moulds that are part of the product process for many concrete items used by government and the building industry everyday on the Isle of Man

1. MC - Describe your business in 10 words GW – creators of bespoke sea and river defence and architectural concrete products. 2. MC - What are the biggest challenges on the Island for your business? GW –making sure that the IOM Government uses our products instead of importing. 3. MC- What are our main reasons for joining MICTA? GW – we feel that even though we are in the building industry, technology plays a very big roll in the manufacturing of our products.

Greg Wright Managing Director

4. MC - What super power would you choose and why? GW- seeing into the future, I would probably do things a lot differently!

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Ever wondered what technology will do to the future of farming?

MICTA members and their families ‘went outdoors and up North’ to meet the Cowin family and discover how their state of the art 'Merlin' technology has enhanced the way the farm operates, with just a few key strokes on their computer! Robotic milking has been available commercially in the UK since 1994 but it's taken a while to get going. The technology has moved on tremendously in the last 10 years the systems are now very reliable and efficient.

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Barry, Edgar, Lyn and James Cowin warmly welcomed MICTA members to Ballaterson Farm in Ballaugh.

Barry Cowin demonstrates the Merlin system

The robot, conducts a basic analysis of the milk produced by each cow, which giving an immediate indication of quality and can provide an early warning for conditions such as mastitis, even before clinical signs appear.

The data that these robots can collect is staggering, reeling off various possible stats to be gleaned from the robot's computers, from protein-fat ratio in the milk to white blood cell counts.

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The ‘gubbins’ of Merlin

The robot recognises each cow individually by an electronic tag, which is attached to the cows ear. Everything is completely automated – there isn’t even any need for manual attachment of the cows teats; the robots not only have built in lasers which are used to locate them, but also remember the rough position of them for each cow. The robots are programmed to milk the desired amount for each cow. The cows are free to come to the robots for milking whenever they want, but if they return too soon to be milked again, the robot will allow them to pass through without being milked. Even the floor is swept by a robot!

The milking robot is certainly a very clever piece of kit. Robots have slowly become more popular over the last few years as the machinery has become more reliable. But will there be a major shift towards robotic milking in the future? Will the younger generations of farmers be more inclined to use robots in order to maintain a lifestyle with better working hours? I think that robots are the next step in the evolution of dairy farming, but it’s impossible to tell how long it’ll take for the to be used by the vast majority of dairy farmers

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CONNECT is the online magazine of the Manx ICT Association Share your stories - Contact Kurt 32

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