The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Robots Getting Much Cooler! The Five Minute Response

Robots are getting much more sophisticated all the time. Rovers on other worlds and in orbit are much more capable than they used to be. They can be reconfigured when one mission ends to continue with another (within limits). A few have been very long lasting like the Voyager twins, one of which is our first interstellar ambassador.

But now, here's a little of what is new.

NASA is giving the Robonaut 2 aboard the International Space Station climbing legs! If all goes well, R2 will be able to be guided from one place to another to carry out simple tasks without needing to be carted there on a pole. No more torso on a stick for R2 if all goes well.

Meanwhile, NASA has also created Valkyrie, a 250 pound, 6' 2" rescue robot that will be able to walk, climb, use tools, drive a car ... and who knows what else. They speak of such robots, complete with multiple cameras, sonar, and easily replaceable limbs preceding humans to Mars. However, what might she do here on Earth? Could you one day find yourself rescued from dire straits and potential fiery doom by Valkyrie? Only time will tell. The glowing Iron Man style chest piece is a nice touch guys. If you want to see V for yourself, go to:

Meanwhile, various institutions are creating exoskeleton robots to enhance human strength. We all know about cars driving themselves. And now Amazon is looking into delivery drones to bring product from the skies to you rather than surveillance or worse. Now, I wonder, if you have a smart phone and are out in the wilderness when your boot blows out, could you order a pair from Amazon and have them delivered directly to you by a drone homing in on your signal? Talk about customer support.

The future is coming and its getting more interesting, much cooler, by the moment. That's the five minute response.

For another cool thing a robot is doing, see:

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