Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Space Robotics - When A Mind of Their Own?

Watch the Sci-Fi movies and the robots that think for themselves.
Read the Sci-Fi books and do battle with robots run a muck.

Do you want to do all the work by yourself or will you use labor saving
Will they be smart enough to do some of the assigned tasks by themselves?

Some have said, 'Send in the ROBOTS' well maybe not in those exact words.
Still, there is a thirst to know our own mind and could we just hand off
some of the thinking to a robot.

You may have seen some of those 'HELPFUL' robots on TV or in the movies.
Well maybe there was someone inside or maybe it was just computer
graphics, BUT, could it ever be?

Some time back I read a short science fiction story about a robotics
technician being sent out to a small asteroid where the mining robots
seemed to be doing a dance rather than cutting through rock. After
checking everything out at the mainframe computer that was in charge of
all the mining robots, the conclusion was that the system had been over
loaded and that the mainframe computer couldn't make up its mind what to
do next and was DRUMMING ITS FINGERS, that is,- the mining robots seemed
to be doing a dance. :-)

Shall we look up and see how the robots in space are doing?
Then again, the astronauts did a fine job of fixing the solar panels on
the ISS.

Did you watch it?
- LRK -
The STS-120 crew bid farewell to the Expedition 16 crew before the
hatches closed at 3:03 p.m. EST Sunday between Discovery and the
station. Attention now turns to Discovery's undocking from the station a
little after 5:30 a.m. Monday.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Space Station Extravehicular Activity

A New Generation of Space Robotics
To build and maintain the International Space Station, space walking
astronauts will work in partnership with a new generation of space
robotics. The space shuttle's mechanical arm and a new space station arm
operate both as "space cranes" to precisely maneuver large modules and
components and also as space "cherry pickers" to maneuver astronauts to
work areas.

The shuttle's Canadian-built mechanical arm has been enhanced with a new
"Space Vision System" (SVS) that helps the operator literally see around
corners. Tested on past space shuttle missions STS-74, STS-80 and
STS-85, the SVS uses video image processing and a series of markings on
the objects being maneuvered to develop a graphical laptop computer
display to assist the arm operator. It allows the shuttle arm to be
operated with great precision even when visibility is obstructed, and
the system was used operationally during the first assembly mission as
Astronaut Nancy Currie, with her view partially obstructed, attached the
first station component, the Zarya Control Module, to the second
component, the Unity Connecting Module.

Selected Robotics Resources on the Internet

Listed below is a compilation of space robotics-related and general
purpose robotics-related resources (web sites, ftp sites, gopher sites,
newsgroups, etc.) available on the Internet. Although not 100 percent
comprehensive (no list of this type ever is complete), it does provide a
represenative sample of materials being offered on the 'net. If you have
any additions or corrections to the list, please email the site
webmaster and let us know. The list is divided into the following

FIRST Robotics Competition
Learn about the Cool Cosmos
Second Annual 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition
NASA Student Opportunities
Cool Robots Archive

Full Size Robot Collection

HAL 9000 (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) is a fictional
character in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey saga. The novels, along
with two films, begin with 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968. It
was ranked #13 on a list of greatest film villains of all on the AFI's
100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains.

HAL is an artificial intelligence, the sentient on-board computer of the
spaceship Discovery. HAL is usually represented only as his television
camera "eyes" that can be seen throughout the Discovery spaceship. The
voice of HAL 9000 was performed by Canadian actor Douglas Rain. In the
book, HAL became operational on January 12, 1997 (1992 in the movie)[1]
at the HAL Plant in Urbana, Illinois, and was created by Dr. Chandra. In
the 2001 film, HAL is depicted as being capable not only of speech
recognition, facial recognition, and natural language processing, but
also lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting emotions, expressing
emotions, reasoning, and, of course, chess.
[AMEE (Autonomous Mapping Exploration and Evasion) robot that becomes
more than helpful. - LRK -]
Red Planet (film)
Borrowing ideas from the movie Red Planet
Gallagher vs AMEE (RED PLANET)
Amee Test Animation, version II


*Tohoku University
The Space Robotics Lab (Space Exploration Lab)
Robotics for Space Science and Exploration Missions

The Space Robotics Laboratory, led by Professor Yoshida, is dedicated to
the research and development of the robotic systems for space science
and exploration missions. The lab has contributed to the Engineering
Test Satellite-VII (launched in 1997 for orbital robotics experiments)
and "Hayabusa" asteroid sample-return probe (launched in 2003 and
expectied to return in 2010). Today one of our focus is put on the
mechanics and control of lunar exploration rovers. Technologies for
remote planetary exploration (such as mapping and localization in the
unstructured environment, rough terrain mobility, and teleoperation with
time delay) can also be applied to the robots for search and rescue

*The Space Robotics Initiative
The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

The Space Robotics Initiative is developing robots and their support
technologies (communication, manipulators, and multiple robot
coordination) for interplanetary exploration, space solar power station
construction and MRO, and solar-powered spaceflight.

[Reading some books about how the mind might work and what one might
consider in trying to design a mechanical brain. - LRK -]
Two books by Steve Grand;
*"Growing Up with Lucy: How to Build an Android in Twenty Easy Steps"*
Steve Grand; Paperback
*"Creation: Life and How to Make It"*
Steve Grand; Hardcover

Two by Marvin Minsky;
*"The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence,
and the Future of the Human Mind"*
Marvin Minsky; Hardcover
*"Society of Mind"*
Marvin Minsky; Paperback




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