University of Nottingham Ningbo China Scholar Earns Patent for Intellectual Property Protection in 3D Printing

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Hing Kai Chan, Professor of Operations Management at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC), and his team recently gained authorisation from the National Intellectual Property Office for the patent “Digital watermarking method for 3D printing models”. The new patent tracks and protects intellectual property in 3D printing.

“The toughest problem in 3D printing is not technology, but the protection of intellectual property,” Professor Chan introduces. At present, the anti-counterfeiting of 3D printing model is mainly achieved by embedding digital watermark into triangular mesh data, but not all the model files are in triangular mesh format, and the embedded digital watermark may be lost in printing and manufacturing.

The model invented by Professor Chan’s team uses the algorithm to transform the 3D spatial matrix similarity problem into 2D image matching problem with high accuracy in the detection result. Moreover, the digital watermark is almost invisible to the naked eye, which will not affect the appearance, but is unlikely to be lost.

“Our patent allows the use of watermarks to trace item-level information to protect intellectual property rights, including information such as the platform used and the individual in charge,” Professor Chan explained.

Professor Chan is now looking for relevant companies and institutions that can cooperate with to discuss the right to use the patent through licensing agreements or consulting projects.

“Getting a patent is the first step. I believe this patent has great potential and will play an important role in stimulating the development of 3D technology,” he said.

The registration of the patent took a total of three years and rigorous examination. This achievement came from the close collaboration between Professor Chan, Dr Hui Leng Choo (a former lecturer of the Faculty of Science and Engineering) and his doctoral student Jie Niu.

The team had close cooperation with the


China determined to dominate future mining with Origin Space

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In November, a Chinese space mining startup, Origin Space, will launch the world’s first space mining robot into Earth orbit (designated NEO-1). Once in orbit, NEO-1 will perform a series of tests to ensure it works properly. This proof-of-concept is the first of its kind and, if successful, will pave the way for China’s budding space mining industry to take flight.

It is believed that the world’s first trillionaire will come from the space mining industry. Following the launch of NEO-1, Origin Space plans to place a small observation satellite, Yuanwang-1 (or “Little Hubble”), in Earth orbit next year to search for mineable asteroids. Beijing has identified space mining as new strategic industry that China must dominate in order to fulfill President Xi Jinping’s goal of making the People’s Republic of China the world’s hegemon by 2049.

For President Xi to realize his “China Dream” of global domination by 2049, China has embraced what I refer to as The Field of Dreams mentality when it comes to high-tech innovation and space dominance: If you build it, they will come. By building the world’s first viable space mining companies and creating the infrastructure needed to support long-range space operations, Beijing believes that it can woo foreign talent and investment away from the United States and into China. There is reason to believe that Beijing’s assumptions are correct. 

The United States has possessed the ability to venture into space and mine the various celestial bodies for decades. Yet, until the Trump administration came along, America failed to exploit space in the way that China intends to. A succession of American leaders, Democrat and Republican alike — including former Vice President Joe Biden — allowed for America’s advantages in space to erode. Now, China’s NEO-1 test scheduled for November is yet another


Task force: U.S. must prioritize AI in race to defend against Russia, China

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A bipartisan congressional task force this week recommended that the Department of Defense prioritize investing in artificial intelligence, supply chain resiliency and cyberwarfare in order to deal with imminent threats from China and Russia.

The Future of Defense Task Force, chaired by Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Jim Banks, R-Ind., on Tuesday released an 87-page report pointing out the vulnerabilities in U.S. national security and recommending how to fix them.

Banks said in a statement that the Pentagon needs to innovate to ensure the United States maintains its global military supremacy, and the report was the roadmap to do it.

“This report details a vision of the future of defense–specifically a smart, whole-of-nation strategy addressing the rise of China,” he said.

The U.S. economic and military dominance post-Cold War has been reduced in recent years, the report said. China is expected to soon overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy, and despite historic defense spending, the United States has failed to keep pace with China’s and Russia’s military modernization.

“If we fail to act on this plan, the world order will shift from one that favors democracy to one that favors authoritarianism,” Moulton said.

The Future of Defense Task Force was launched last October to examine how to maintain the Pentagon’s technological edge against Russia and China.

Advancements in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, quantum computing and space, cyber, and electronic warfare are making traditional battlefields and boundaries increasingly irrelevant, according to the report. The United States also remains vulnerable to increasing cyberattacks against civilian populations.

“Using the Manhattan Project as a model, the United States must undertake and win the artificial intelligence race by leading in the invention and deployment of AI while establishing the standards for its public and private use,” the report said.

It recommends that all


In an Odd Twist, Cleaner Air in China May Mean a Warmer Earth

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Over the past 15 years, Chinese officials saved the lives of an estimated more than 200,000 residents by reducing the air pollution from coal-fired power plants. But this public health campaign has an unfortunate side effect: The drop in pollutants is helping warm the planet.

In fact, China’s push to continue cleaning up its air in the future could warm the entire northern hemisphere by 0.1 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, making it even tougher to keep the Earth’s temperature below the 1.5 Celsius degree (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warming limit that scientists say is necessary to avoid severe weather disruptions, increased rainfall, sea level rise, droughts, and other disastrous climate change effects by the year 2100. That’s because the same sulfur dioxide particles that come from coal burning and cause respiratory problems in humans also reflect sunlight, which cools the planet.

In a new study published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters, a team of researchers from China and the United States analyzed emissions data between 2006 and 2017 during China’s big air cleanup. By installing scrubbers and other new technologies on older coal plants and other factories, the country cut sulfur dioxide emissions by 70 percent. The researchers then developed a computer model to forecast how this change in air quality would affect something called “radiative forcing,” or the amount of the sun’s energy that becomes trapped by the Earth’s atmosphere, minus the energy the Earth reflects back to space.

The scientists ran their model to simulate the passage of 150 years at both the higher 2006 emissions rate and the lower 2017 emissions rate. Then they looked at what the temperature changes would be after about a century. The results show that the emissions reductions will allow more energy to reach the