Category Archives: Robotics

How NASA Reinvented The Wheel

On August 6, 2012, at 05:17 UTC, NASA has successfully landed a Mini-Cooper-sized rover, Curiosity, on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars. The 900-kg rover (899 kg, to be exact, which is 1,982 lbs) is equipped with six 50 cm (20 in) diameter wheels in a rocker-bogie suspension. Notes 1 For the first time in the history of the space exploration, the suspension system also served as landing gear for the vehicle, unlike its smaller predecessors.

Curiosity “soft-landed”  (wheels down) on the surface of Mars. But, even it’s called “soft-landing”, the touchdown speed was 0.6739m/s vertical and 0.044m/s horizontal, which could damage the wheels. Plus, while the rover is moving, the wheels should withstand the substantial damage through the rough Martian surface. That’s why the wheels of the Curiosity rover have been one of the biggest technical difficulties encountered on the mission. Notes 2

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A Quick Peek Into the Future: 10 Ways Technology Will Transform Our Lives by 2050

All of us remember the iconic opening scene from Wall-E, where the lone robot goes about his daily routine, clearing up rubble. Amid the debris-filled surface of the planet, we see glimpses of how things used to be, before a gross violation of the ecosystem and rampant consumption of energy resources made our planet inhabitable. It is a gloomy picture indeed, and fills us with despair to witness what we are doing to our planet, armed with technological advancements that are gradually eating into the earth’s very soul.

However, the movie also teaches us that it is never too late to turn over a new leaf and mend our ways. Technology, when used to benefit humankind, can actually be the very tool with which we can build our futures, and make our planet a better place for the generations to come. This post is an overview of what could happen in 2050, given the rate of technological progression, with a special emphasis on how we can do good to the planet that has sustained us for so long.

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“Wrong” by Freethink Media

Today, I stumbled upon a Facebook page, titled “Wrong” by Freethink. Then I searched them on YouTube and saw that they also have a YouTube channel. They published great videos on interesting subjects. I would strongly recommend you to take a look at their very underrated YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Here some of their great videos below:

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Now it’s time to prepare for the Machinocene

Human-level intelligence is familiar in biological hardware – you’re using it now. Science and technology seem to be converging, from several directions, on the possibility of similar intelligence in non-biological systems. It is difficult to predict when this might happen, but most artificial intelligence (AI) specialists estimate that it is more likely than not within this century.
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