As we approach the Mars rover Curiosity’s landing Sunday night, we’re having a lot of fun seeing all the promotions — there are all kinds of videos, museum exhibits and road shows to help explain what the newest interplanetary explorer will do. Below is a great new one from the American Chemical Society.
NASA is enlisting Hollywood to help promote its blockbuster new Mars rover, Curiosity, in a couple of new videos. Below you can watch both William Shatner and Wil Wheaton, vets of various "Star Trek" franchises, describe Curiosity’s “seven minutes of terror” as it touches down on Mars.
This boxy guy is called Kuratas, otherwise known as Vaudeville, and he stands 12 feet 5 inches tall. He weighs about 4.5 tons and is diesel-powered. Do not smile at him. He will shoot that grin right off your face.
Kuratas is a real-life mech from (where else?) Japan, and it's an art project designed by Suidobashi Heavy Industry. Iron worker/artist Kogoro Kurata, at right in the photo above, built his namesake robot and debuted it at something called Wonder Fest 2012, which took place over the weekend.
Test pilot and speed freak Chip Yates, already a record-holder for the world’s fastest electric motorcycle, broke another one last week in his all-electric airplane. In only its second flight, his Flight of the Century Long-EZ took to the skies over Inyokern Airport in California and reached a top speed of 202 MPH.
“I will have that curly thing,” as I once put it to the pastry-selling woman across the counter. There was no sign, so how was I supposed to know it was called a pecan braid? This new food recognizer could have helped!
This was shot on the Hudson River boardwalk in New York City. It took two hours to shoot with a picture being taken roughly every 5 seconds for a total of 1,440 pictures stitched together to make a 1 minute clip. I chose the angle to show a diversity of movement; still boardwalk, slight movement of clouds and shadows, swift movement of boats and kayaks and the hyper motion of the people on the boardwalk.
This Japanese trashbot is custom-built with a fairly complex-looking control board, power system and operating code. Three wheels at the base have 360 degrees of motion, so the robot can spin in any direction.
The trashcan bot syncs to a Kinect mounted to the wall, which monitors the environment. It knows exactly where to roll and when to stop so it can catch whatever you throw at it.
All eyes will be on the new Mars rover Curiosity when it lands in just over two weeks, but lest we forget, NASA’s indefatigable Mars rover Opportunity is still rolling along, too. The rover has driven about 22 miles, which prompted some Olympic-minded NASA people to realize the rover is nearing marathon distance. It will be the first interplanetary marathon.
Last time PopSci checked in on Singapore-based Lovotics, roboticists there were trying to create an interface for human-robot love by imbuing robots with all the biological and emotional nuances that characterize human relationships.
While NASA waits with bated breath for the Curiosity rover’s arrival on the Martian surface, engineers at NASA and the Canadian Space Agency are already at work testing a new lunar rover designed to seek out water and other natural resources closer to home. The rover payload, known as the Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatiles Extraction (RESOLVE), is designed to spend nine days prospecting for water resources on the moon sometime in the future.