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Science, Space & Robotics Posts - Page 18

Raptor robot mimics the extinct dinosaur of the same name

Researchers around the world are hard at work designing and building robots that can perform all sorts of tasks. One of the robots that these researchers are working on is the Raptor. The bot gets its name from the fact that it is modeled after the velociraptor dinosaur.

 

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Raptor was designed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. The both has two legs and a thirds appendage that is like a tail. During tests of the robot on a treadmill, it was able to achieve speeds of over 28 mph.

Continue reading 'Raptor robot mimics the extinct dinosaur of the same name' (full post)

Google said to spend over $1 billion on satellites for internet access

A rumor is making the rounds that internet giant Google is set to spend over $1 billion to purchase satellites that will be placed into orbit to provide broadband. According to people familiar with the project, Google will be using the low altitude satellites to bring internet access to portions of the country where wired broadband isn't available.

 

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Sources claim that Google will start with 180 small, but high-capacity satellites that will orbit at lower altitudes than traditional satellites. The number of satellites could later be expanded. The satellites that Google will use are reportedly from a communications start-up called O3b Networks.

Continue reading 'Google said to spend over $1 billion on satellites for internet access' (full post)

Researchers pioneer lab-grown teeth with groundbreaking laser method

It's now possible for scientists to regrow actual teeth thanks to the efforts of a team of scientists. A Harvard-led team of researchers found that using a laser beam could trigger human dental stem cells, causing them to create dentin - the kind of tissue that's found underneath the enamel and makes up the majority of the average tooth.

 

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It's historically been difficult to coax stem cells into this kind of specialized growth, according to Digital Trends. But this new technique has done the trick in a lab environment and with animal models. This laser method, outlined in the Science Translational Medicine journal, could even be used for different organic materials if development continues.

 

It's probably not time to throw out the Colgate just yet, but for now this is a promising step forward in the area of regenerative stem cell research.

Researchers developing millimeter-scale technology for soldiers

Military researchers are helping develop millimeter-scale robotic leg structures to give U.S. soldiers on the battlefield a technological advantage that could save lives. Current robots typically require operating soldiers to lower their weapons, and are unable to traverse the same rough terrain that soldiers might find themselves in.

 

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Researchers hope to use future systems available to autonomously enter and exit buildings, continuously send information to troops on the ground, and to conduct defense and surveillance activities.

 

"Think of it as a camera on wheels, where soldiers have a one or two-pound sensor that they can throw into a building to assess situational awareness," said Dr. Brett Piekarski, Army Research Laboratory's Micro and Nano Materials and Devices Branch chief. "The soldier controls it like a video game to complete the task."

Continue reading 'Researchers developing millimeter-scale technology for soldiers' (full post)

ISEE-3 satellite is responding to commands after decades

A few days back we mentioned that NASA was working with a group of amateur scientists to get communications with a satellite that launched in 1978 back up and running. The satellite is called the ISEE-3 and NASA has announced that after all these years of no contact from the satellite, it has been contacted and is responding.

 

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The satellite is responding to commands according to team members. The scientists said, "Our team has established two-way communication with the ISEE-3 spacecraft and has begun commanding it to perform specific functions. Over the coming days and weeks our team will make an assessment of the spacecraft's overall health and refine the techniques required to fire its engines and bring it back to an orbit near Earth."

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SpaceX unveils Dragon V2 crew capsule to carry humans into space

SpaceX has been ferrying supplies and other items to and from the ISS successfully for a long while now. The company has a commercial resupply contract with NASA. SpaceX also has plans to eventually send astronauts into space aboard a new version of the Dragon capsule dubbed the Dragon V2.

 

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The Dragon V2 capsule was unveiled this week showing the SpaceX capsule that is designed to carry seven astronauts into space. The capsule will be able to bring humans to the ISS and return them to Earth. Once approved for use the Dragon V2 will eliminate the need for US astronauts to hitch a ride to the ISS on Russian Soyuz capsules.

Continue reading 'SpaceX unveils Dragon V2 crew capsule to carry humans into space' (full post)

NASA connects the Moon to the internet

Thanks to the joint efforts of MIT and NASA, the moon has now been equipped with an enviable 19mbps internet connection.

 

Yes, that moon. A satellite orbiting the extraterrestrial space rock is able to pick up a laser and then refocus it into optical fiber, before being converting this back into data. Four telescopes in New Mexico shone infrared light to the moon, but an engineering problem emerged in sending the signals uninterrupted by the Earth's atmosphere.

 

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"Communicating at high data rates from Earth to the moon with laser beams is challenging because of the 400,000-kilometre distance spreading out the light beam," MIT Lincoln's Mark Stevens said. "It's doubly difficult going through the atmosphere, because turbulence can bend light-causing rapid fading or dropouts of the signal at the receiver."

 

The result is an internet connection that somehow manages to trounce the average here on Earth - including in countries like Britain, according to the Mirror.

Intel 3D printed robot kit to hit retail by the end of 2014

Robotics is a growing industry both for science and research and for hobbyists who want to build a robot in their own home. Intel has announced a 3D printed robotics kit that will be on the market by the end of the year. The consumer version of the kit will sell for $1600.

 

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Those who want to build their bot from the ground up will also be able to get their hands-on the hardware reference designs allowing them to 3D print the basic parts and assemble the kit on their own. A kit with the parts for the bot that can't be 3D printed will go on sale at 21stCenturyRobot.com.

Continue reading 'Intel 3D printed robot kit to hit retail by the end of 2014' (full post)

Russian spacecraft with ISS crew aboard arrives at space station

Until the US has its own spacecraft that is certified for carrying passengers, American astronauts heading to the ISS continue to hitch a ride with Russia. Recently a Soyuz spacecraft docked with the ISS after a perfect launch from its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

 

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The spacecraft had three crewmembers on board with one Russian, one German, and one American. US and Russian space agencies have continued to work together despite tensions over Russia actions in Ukraine.

Continue reading 'Russian spacecraft with ISS crew aboard arrives at space station' (full post)

Hand controller from Apollo 15 brings over $610,000 at auction

Items that traveled into space during the early NASA space missions can bring big money at auction. Recently a number of items from some of the Apollo moon missions were auctioned off. One of the items that raised the most money was a hand controller from the Apollo 15 Lunar module called Falcon.

 

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It raised the most money in the auction with the winning bidder paying $610,063 for the controller. Commander Dave Scott used that hand controller to land on the surface of the moon along with pilot James Irwin on July 30, 1971.

Continue reading 'Hand controller from Apollo 15 brings over $610,000 at auction' (full post)

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