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Botswana's Elimination of Hunting Ban; Upgraded Technology Helping People With Disabilities

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CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 HOST: Hey. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10. This is our penultimate, or would you say "punultimate" show for the 2019 winter spring season. It's great to have you watching, as always. We start today in Southern Africa. A change has been made in the nation of Botswana, and it concerns elephants.

Since 2014, it's been illegal to hunt them there. Botswana has an estimated 130,000 African elephants, more than any other African country.

It put the hunting ban in 2014 to help the animals recover from habitat loss and poaching when people kill them illegally. Now, though, Botswana's government has eliminated the ban, which means elephant hunting is once again allowed there, as it already is in neighboring nations.

The idea is that legal hunting will take place in the wilderness, far away from where people live. The government says elephant populations are now stable, so they can be hunted, and it says that problems between residents and elephants had been increasing. Scores of people are killed or injured by elephants each year.

And a villager who spoke to CNN says the animals destroy crops and don't benefit the community. Conservationists, of course, have a different view,

One told CNN that hunting is a, quote, "outdated practice which has no place in the modern world." And another said that allowing elephant hunting is like allowing people to shoot cats, dogs or great apes.

But he also says that if elephant hunting is managed correctly, it won't affect overall numbers of elephants in Botswana. Poaching, however, can.

There are signs that poaching's been on the rise in Botswana. It's carried out by people who hope to illegally sell the ivory from elephant tusks on the black market.

It's not known exactly what kind of impact legal hunting will have on poaching or elephant populations as a whole, but it's something that

Botswana's people, its government and conservationists will be watching.

Ten Second Trivia. On a smart phone, captions, select-to-speak and magnification are all part of what settings category: Accessibility,

Network & internet, Appearance or Device connection? These are all common accessibility settings which makes computers more, well, accessible.

OK, so yesterday, we told you about a robot that can walk packages to your doorstep. We've covered the subjects on drone deliveries, self-driving cars, robotic window cleaners. Technology is moving ahead at a feverish pace, and much of it is aimed at making everyday living easier or at least more automated.

But what about making everyday living more accessible for people with disabilities? How are robots in the internet of things, when more and more items are connected to the internet, how are they improving everyday accessibility?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERT RIENER, FULL PROFESSOR OF SENSORY MOTOR SYSTEMS, ETH ZURICH: We need all stakeholders in our society to make technology available to all.

MICHAEL HAGMANN, PRODUCT PILOT, MYOSWISS: People with no disability, they cannot really imagine what that really means for people like me.

KURSAT CEYLAN, CO-FOUNDER, WEWALK: There are 253 million visually impaired people in the world, and these people have been still using just a plain stick.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cities can be difficult cases to navigate at the best of times. But for some with disabilities, they can turn into gold bits

(ph). With nearly 200 million people globally experiencing a severe disability, stairs, curbs, train gaps, even crosswalks can be impossible obstacles.

But as devices grow smarter, cities are becoming more accessible. In fact, the assistive tech industry will be worth an estimated $30 billion by 2024.

That's up from $14 billion in 2015. And when those with disabilities are around 40 percent less likely to be employed, access, of course, has a huge impact on the economy as well.

RIENER: It's very important to invest in our field because there's a multiplicator effect. If we develop new technologies it does not just help single persons, it helps a large group of users.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three of the most cutting-edge examples are already changing lives.

JOSE DI FELICE, PRODUCT PILOT, SCEWO: My accident was in Dijon with a motorcycle. In the first second, you know what happens. This is a new kind of wheelchair, but the main thing is you can climb up the stairs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can go up the stairs by yourself?

DI FELICE, Genius, right?

BERNHARD WINTER, CEO & CO-FOUNDER, SCEWO: Jose, he wrote us, about half a year ago, an e-mail that he would like to test the wheelchair. Our goal is to develop a wheelchair that can climb stairs.

DI FELICE: Thank you so much. It's really good. You've done so well.

WINTER: It's working, isn't it?

DI FELICE: It's perfect. I've almost got tears in my eyes.

WINTER: The goal was to make a really cool robot at the start, but then it switched over to developing this product, because we saw there was such a huge need for the people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That need is felt in cities across the world. In Paris, the European Union's largest city, only nine out of more than 300

metro stations have full disabled access as of 2019.

RIENER: I think there's a boom in the development of assistive technologies. Systems are getting more robust and smaller and smaller.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These smaller systems are allowing assistive tech to become increasing wearable.

HAGMANN: I'm diagnosed with Bethlem Myopathy. It's a genetic disease. I lose muscle cells everywhere. I have not enough muscle strength to really hold me.

JAIME DUARTE, CEO & FOUNDER, MYOSWISS: Hi, Michael.

HAGMANN: Hey.

DUARTE: I have the Myosuit for you to try.

HAGMANN: Oh, great.

DUARTE: What we are developing as an exomuscle is rather a system that assists people that need extra force or extra assistance in their daily life. You hear the motors of the system. So the way that the tendon is routed from the muscles here in the backpack, it's really extending the hip and the knee. So it's the same muscle groups that we use, this muscle that we need, the glutaeus and the quadriceps, to really extend both joints at the same time.

HAGMANN: I really have this vision in mind to do a mountain hike with my son. My family thinks, "Yes, you are crazy, Michael." So I never really thought that I would do a marathon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a hero.

RIENER: Robotics does not only connect to the body of a person, but also to many other devices, which are connected via the internet of things.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By 2025, there'll be an estimated 25 billion connections between these things around the world. This will transform how devices operate within cities.

CEYLAN: Unfortunately, I cannot name a single city as a perfectly disabled-friendly city. That's why we are trying to provide this independency for visually-impaired people. Welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.

CEYLAN: WeWalk is a smart cane developed for visually-impaired people. You can easily connect WeWalk to your smartphone, via WeWalk's application.

And it's so joyful. You know, you can talk with your cane, and your care is answering you. Choose navigation on the touchpad.

WEWALK SMART CANE APPLICATION: Navigation.

CEYLAN: Click it.

WEWALK SMART CANE APPLICATION: Start.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another of WeWalk's capabilities is obstacle detection. Embedded in the handle is an ultrasonic sensor that maps the user's surroundings. If an obstacle is detected, the stick warns the user by vibration.

DUYGU KAYAMAN, USER, WEWALK: To me WeWalk represents the end of an ear and the start of a new one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of these technologies have had interest from other industries, indicating that the good health of the assistive tech sector can only be a good thing for society.

RIENER: There's a lot of new movement and there will be a lot of new results. We apply cool technology, robotic technology which attracts many people who do not have a relationship to any kind of person with a disability. So it opens the minds of many people.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: Dierks Bentley isn't just the name of a country music artist, it's the name of a Golden Retriever, this Golden Retriever. And he's testing out the newest piece of equipment for a fire department in North Carolina, oxygen masks for pets aimed to help revive animals that have inhaled smoke,

like in a house fire. And though each kit costs about $65, these were donated to the fire department by their local humane society.

They come in different sizes, so they should fit "Airdales," Labrador "Rebreathers," long-"aired" and short-"aired" cats, and guinea pigs, like guinea pigs, potentially saving "oxygenerations" of animals, giving both piece of mind and a breath of fresh air. I'm Carl Azuz. We have one more show to go in this season, and we hope you'll join us again tomorrow for Friday's awesome edition of CNN10.

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