Wow, this blows my mind! The times they are a changin’. 

Tags: Matt Space News

Can’t be too careful, it looks like SpaceX is is back on track for a launch. 

Tags: Space Matt

A highlighted technology that needs to be developed,

We’re also being helped by the availability of low-cost 3-D sensors. If you combine photos with a 3-D map of a room you get something like a CAD model or a video game environment. That can enable more autonomy for a robot because it can understand things like where a door or chair leg is; it could allow robots to understand the environment all the way down to the level of individual objects. That kind of map also provides a common language for the robot and human to talk through. I can say: “Stay out of this room,” “mop the kitchen on Tuesdays,” or even “find this book.”

Came across this while doing some research at RaspberryPi.org, pretty cool project!

I like projects such as this one that break away from the normal “I built a line following robot” or “my robot has a camera” and go towards actual development of something with a real function. This is the direction robotics is headed, and it is picking up momentum. 

This video is a year old, but it—in a video so corny only the government could make it—highlights testing and advances in DARPA’s Phoenix program. It’s a pretty ambitious program with a (to put it broadly) goal towards robotic operation in Geostationary Eath Orbit. At the moment, we launch satellites in GEO and that’s it, we don’t have to means to perform maintenance or re use parts. 

Apparently the project has moved into Stage 2 (Stage 1 proved feasibility), and they have plans to do “on-orbit demonstration” in 2016. That’s only 2 years away! 

A few more links,

Wired-DARPA’s Robots Could Soon Assemble Satellites in Space

DARPA video outlines progress of Phoenix satellite re-purposing project

Phoenix Makes Strides in Orbital Robotics and Satellite Architecture Research

Tune in on the 14th to watch Falcon 9 launch!

I was “digging” around the internet on the topic of tunnel digging robots and found this video. Seems pretty complicated to get a robot to work like an ant, I wonder if taking a worm approach would be better. 

More info

Misc Space round up

Because of geopolitical shenanigans NASA has “suspended contact with Russia.” Russia of course, being our primary means of launching humans into space. So that’s nice.

The Google LunarX competition finale is about 2 years out, and it looks like Discovery Channel will cover it live, so that should be cool. 

SpaceX should be launching Falcon 9 soon. This rocket will carry landing legs for the first time. 

the legs will only be dead weight on CRS-3, but when the technology is more advanced, the Falcon 9 first stage will be able to make a controlled, powered landing on its legs instead of splashing down at sea after sending the Dragon into space.

Eventually, they’ll be able to make controlled landings on solid ground. SpaceX is developing this technology with their Grasshopper test program. Pretty cool, here’s  video

Lol, this looks pretty awesome, now how much is a HBO subscription…

Time lapse videos are cool. This one is of the Bay Bridge construction, according to Core77 the 4 minute video compresses 42,000 hours of work.