NASA is plotting a daring robotic mission to Jupiter’s watery moon Europa, a place where astronomers speculate there might be some form of life.
The space agency set aside $15 million in its 2015 budget proposal to start planning some kind of mission to Europa. No details have been decided yet, but NASA chief financial officer Elizabeth Robinson says that it will be launched in the mid-2020s.
This Robot Arm Can 3D-Print Molten Metal in Midair
The only thing cooler than using a huge robot arm to sculpt? Using a huge robot arm to sculpt with liquid hot metal.Joris Laarman Studio's prototype software instructs a robotic arm to recreate 3D models in midair, using molten metals of all kinds. .. Full Story: Gizmodo
German researchers have developed a robot that mimics the simple nervous system used for olfactory learning in the honeybee, using color instead of odors. The researchers have installed a camera on a small robotic vehicle connected to a computer. The computer program replicates, in a simplified way, the sensorimotor neural network of the insect brain and operates the motors of the robot wheels to control its motion and direction based on the colors.
Description from the FU Berlin Team on Youtube:
Here, we present a robotic platform designed for implementing and testing spiking neural network control architectures. We demonstrate a neuromorphic realtime approach to sensory processing, reward-based associative plasticity and behavioral control. This is inspired by the biological mechanisms underlying rapid associative learning and the formation of distributed memories in the insect.
Additional material for the paper : Conditioned behavior in a robot controlled by a spiking neural network Lovísa Irpa Helgadottir , Joachim Haenicke, Tim Landgraf, Raul Rojas and Martin P Nawrot (Submitted 2013)
California´s Robocops - Robots to aid police in crime ridden areas.
In a bid to make local communities safer and give local law enforcement agencies more tools to fight crime, California-based Knightscope recently unveiled a line of K5 robots that it believes will “predict and prevent crime with an innovative combination of hardware, software and social engagement.” (via RT USA)
The Yutu rover suffered a mysterious “abnormality” over the weekend. And the robot’s microblogged death note may make you cry.
“The sun has fallen, and the temperature is dropping so quickly…to tell you all a secret, I don’t feel that sad. I was just in my own adventure story - and like every hero, I encountered a small problem.” “Goodnight, Earth,” concluded the rover. “Goodnight, humanity.”
This mysterious abnormality resulted in the rover being unable to enter sleep mode, which would turn on its internal heaters and protect it from the -170 C temperatures of the lunar night. You just read the parting words of a robot freezing to death.
25% of US combat personnel could be replaced by robots by 2030:
"General Robert Cone revealed the news at an Army Aviation symposium last week, noting that the Army is considering reducing the size of a Brigade Combat Team from 4,000 soldiers to 3,000, with robots and drones making up for the lost firepower." - See article above.