Congress holding UFO hearing Tuesday morning at 9 AM EDT: Watch it live here!
What is Project M?This video of NASA JSC's "Project M" depicts a Robonaut-based, tele-operated mission to the Moon - one that JSC claims could be accomplished in 1,000 days once the go-ahead was given.
Project M is a JSC Engineering Directorate led mission to put a lander on the moon with a robot within a 1,000 days starting Jan 1., 2010. “M” has significance in two ways. First, it is the Roman numeral for 1,000. And “M” is the first letter for “Moon”.
How is Project M different from past NASA projects?
* No prime contractors.
* No roadblocks.
* Just use the best engineers in the world to get the job done on time.
There will be full press on this…including embedded media, full multimedia and social networking. Can you say “The Apprentice goes to Space?”
When will Project M begin? Next month? Next year? No, Project M has been “go” since Monday, November 9th.
Author: Leslie Mullen
Summary: Who should explore space: robots or humans? Our ability to travel beyond Earth is hampered by the harsh conditions of space, but rather than let robots have all the fun, could cyborg technology allow humans to make greater strides into the final frontier?
Cyborgs in science fiction, such as the Borg in Star Trek, are often representations of evil. The Borg assimilate others against their will, saying, “Resistance is futile.” Image Credit: CBS Studios, Inc.
Cyborgs – human beings merged with machines -- are a staple of science fiction. Star Wars’s Darth Vader, Star Trek’s Borg, and the Cybermen of Dr. Who are variations on this theme – and it’s no coincidence they’re all “bad guys.” Cyborgs symbolize one of our greatest fears: that over time, we will become so enmeshed in our technology that we lose our humanity.
The real-life application of cyborg science is far from horrifying. Medical technology has developed implantable heart pacemakers, insulin pumps, hearing aids, and even computer chips for the brain to treat depression and Parkinson’s disease. In that sense, we are already on the path to becoming cyborgs.
Kevin Warwick with his second cyborg impant. This implant, connected to the median nerve in his arm, allowed him to send and receive signals by computer.
Image credit: University of Reading
Artificial kidneys are not yet small enough to be implantable. Victor Gura, who is developing an artificial kidney at UCLA’s School of Medicine, models the device.
Image credit: UCLA
Brain implants are being used for medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease and depression. Transhumanists think one day brain implants could be used for much more.
Image credit: St. Jude Medical
(excuse me ? :? )Perhaps a brain implant linking us to our robots would be the next step in space exploration, greatly reducing communication time across the vast expanse of space. For instance, depending on where Mars is in its orbit, it takes between 3 to 30 minutes for a radio message sent from Earth to reach Mars, and then an equally long time for us to get the response. For more distant destinations, the message relay would take even longer. But thought communication could be virtually instantaneous.
Paul Davies, a SETI scientist at Arizona State University, says in his book The Eerie Silence that any aliens exploring the universe will be machine hybrids. Not only are machines better able to endure extended exposure to the conditions of space, but they have the potential to develop intelligence far beyond the capacity of the human brain.
“I think it very likely – in fact inevitable – that biological intelligence is only a transitory phenomenon, a fleeting phase in the evolution of the universe,” Davies writes. “If we ever encounter extraterrestrial intelligence, I believe it is overwhelmingly likely to be post-biological in nature.”
Electrodes and a control chip are inserted into a moth during its pupal stage. When the moth emerges the electrodes stimulate its muscles to control its flight.
Image credit: Alper Bozkurt, Boyce Thompson Institute
By Jeremy Hsu
posted: 07 April 2010
08:53 am ET
American astronauts may not return to the moon anytime soon, but robotic explorers seem poised to go there — and just about everywhere else — in the solar system in short order.
NASA's new space exploration plan includes a heavy emphasis on robotic missions that would land on the moon, Mars and even asteroids to pave the way for human exploration.
The agency's 2011 budget proposed by President Barack Obama calls for funding two such missions starting next year. One of those missions is a lunar expedition that would test the ability to control robots remotely from Earth, or the International Space Station, on the moon.
I like to imagine an immersive telepresence. The operator wearing a helmet and gloves and the robot mimicing the operator's moves.EarthlingX":rxaddg8m said:SDC : NASA Plans New Robot Generation to Explore Moon, Asteroids
By Jeremy Hsu
posted: 07 April 2010
08:53 am ET
I complained about the download times. The page author says you can choose smaller versions after you hit the play button. He sent me this jpeg:bushwhacker":25yglpc7 said:either you didnt post or it was removed docm.... my bad it just took too long to load
Submitted by keithcowing on Wed, 04/14/2010 - 13:14
NASA will launch the first human-like robot to space later this year to become a permanent resident of the International Space Station. Robonaut 2, or R2, was developed jointly by NASA and General Motors under a cooperative agreement to develop a robotic assistant that can work alongside humans, whether they are astronauts in space or workers at GM manufacturing plants on Earth.
The 300-pound R2 consists of a head and a torso with two arms and two hands. R2 will launch on space shuttle Discovery as part of the STS-133 mission planned for September. Once aboard the station, engineers will monitor how the robot operates in weightlessness. Throughout its first decade in orbit, the space station has served as a test bed for human and robotic teamwork for construction, maintenance and science.
R2 will be confined to operations in the station's Destiny laboratory. However, future enhancements and modifications may allow it to move more freely around the station's interior or outside the complex.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA1e33lRNs4[/youtube]A concept animation of the proposed Project M. Project M is a proposed project to land an operational humanoid robot on the moon in 1000 days (M is the Roman numeral for 1000). The humanoid will travel to the moon on a small lander fueled by green propellants, liquid methane and liquid oxygen. It will perform a precision, autonomous landing, avoiding any hazards or obstacles on the surface. Upon landing the robot will deploy and walk on the surface performing a multitude of tasks focused on demonstrating engineering tasks such as maintenance and construction; performing science of opportunity (i.e. using existing sensors on the robot or small science instruments); and simple student experiments.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F-wDXsLFqU[/youtube]This video is of NASA Project M Lander free flight test at Armadillo Aerospace outside of Dallas. The lander launched on June 23rd 2010. This is the prototype of the lander that may launch a version of Robonaut on future exploratory missions
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeonTjidFUw[/youtube]This animation depicts Robonaut performing repair work during an EVA on the International Space Station.
While the project is not fully funded nor vetted at the agency level, much progress has already been made by leveraging and coalescing existing, funded technology work; by forming innovative partnerships; and by a small project team focusing on fast iterative design, test, and execution.
Project M is a proposed project to land an operational humanoid robot on the moon in 1000 days (M is the Roman numeral for 1000). The humanoid will travel to the moon on a small lander fueled by green propellants, liquid methane and liquid oxygen. It will perform a precision, autonomous landing, avoiding any hazards or obstacles on the surface. Upon landing the robot will deploy and walk on the surface performing a multitude of tasks focused on demonstrating engineering tasks such as maintenance and construction; performing science of opportunity (i.e. using existing sensors on the robot or small science instruments); and simple student experiments.
You may be right, but certainly I think testing this type of robotic technology on the ISS makes sense. I hope the tests go well inside and at some point before the end of ISS they get the robot to work outside as well. This technology can come into its own for the Moon and Mars trips.JonClarke":1r9a5can said:Yawn. More over-sold and under-performing robotic technology.
You know what i think and feel everytime i see that? Anger and the word "stupid".Gravity_Ray":2bf0b2xt said:You may be right, but certainly I think testing this type of robotic technology on the ISS makes sense. I hope the tests go well inside and at some point before the end of ISS they get the robot to work outside as well. This technology can come into its own for the Moon and Mars trips.JonClarke":2bf0b2xt said:Yawn. More over-sold and under-performing robotic technology.
Robotics is very time consuming work and I am not surprised people are a bit bored already. But it takes time. I just saw my friends’ 1 year old start walking and realized how amazing our brains are, but I think at some point the software and hardware will get to a point that will make it feasible for humans to be assisted in space by robots.
Testing in space has to start some place, may as well be the ISS.
Well to me a construction robot needs to be made for a zero-g and vacum enviroment. This would assist in anything construction relayed for ISS or any project it is needed for. Designed to construct and repair ISS or orbital structure so people wouldnt be as needed to risk space walks.Gravity_Ray":38lw6s5f said:I do agree with Valcan about the legs part. Those are not necessary either here on earth and especially in space or on the Moon. However, I do get the arms and torso. As earthlingx said they have to work in the same places as we do so they have to have the same basic shape for work in space (as in working in modules, or moving in and out of airlocks).
I think for space they should just be torsos with the ability to attach to modules and ships (much like the ISS arm) and on the Moon with tracks for mobility. Actually that would be a good test right there for the ISS: What shape should robots be to assist humans in space?
I think i know what you are talking about, and i do agree that variations, dependent on the specific requirements make a lot of sense. I see no reason, why upper and lower parts couldn't be separate modules, which are put together as needed. Two-legged, four-legged, six-legged, wheels, whatever works the best, based on as much theoretical and experimental evidence as practical and possible.Valcan":31fuvsvu said:My big gripe is that Nasa is being influenced by the anime lets make km long spaceships with legs etc crowd. This isnt a logical or wise move. The arms ok keep em the legs head config though...not so much.
This video gives an overview of the GENIE integration activities on the Project M RR-1 prototype lander. GENIE (Guidance Embedded Navigator Integration Environment) was developed to demonstrate fully functional, real-time, GNC code in a terrestrial rocket vehicle applicable to landing on the surface of the Moon.
It also shows the NASA Project M Lander free flight test at Armadillo Aerospace outside of Dallas. The lander launched on June 23rd 2010. This is the prototype of the lander that may launch a version of Robonaut on future exploratory missions
The problem isnt the arms or hands there fine......its the head assembly, the the legs......oh dont even get me started......its in space what does it need legs for????? It can use wheels and use 90% less computing and electric power!!!!neutrino78x":35ty98io said:Well, human shaped hands and arms are certainly more useful, in my opinion, than just a scooper at the end of the arm. Human shaped arm can easily pick up objects, manipulate a lander in order to repair it, etc.
July 12th, 2010
by Chris Gebhardt
The face (or rather the body) of the shape of things to come in terms of human/robotic exploration of the solar system has arrived. As NASA gears up for the penultimate flight of the Space Shuttle this coming November, a special payload is nearing completion – a payload that is hoped will help revolution human-robotic interaction and exploration of sol system bodies.
July 13th, 2010
Written by Nancy Atkinson
NASA's Robonaut 2 will be the first human-like robot to go to space, and teams from Johnson Space Center have been putting "R2" through a battery of tests to make sure this futuristic robot is ready for its first mission. R2 will become a permanent resident of the International Space Station, and will launch on space shuttle Discovery as part of the STS-133 mission, currently planned for November 1, 2010.
The 136 kg (300-pound) R2 consists of a head and a torso with two arms and two hands. R2 Once aboard the station, engineers will monitor how the robot operates in weightlessness. R2 is undergoing extensive testing in preparation for its flight, including vibration, vacuum and radiation testing. Watch the video for more information on how R2 operates.
August 25th, 2010
by Chris Gebhardt
Preparations are in full swing at the Kennedy Space Center for the final set of processing milestones leading up to STS-133. In particular, payload preparations are nearing their terminal phase as final cargo loads to the newly christened PMM Leonardo take place in the Space Station Processing Facility – including the final power-down, stowage, and installation of Robonaut 2 and its protective launch container into Leonardo.
...By Stephanie Pappas
LiveScience Senior Writer
posted: 28 October 2010
11:56 am ET
HOUSTON — To call NASA's Robonaut 2 the silent type would be an understatement.
The first humanoid robot headed for space is no chatty C-3PO. In fact, when two red-shirted NASA handlers rolled R2 — short for Robonaut 2 (not R2D2) — into the press area here at Johnson Space Center, the process was so quiet I didn't even notice.
Which made looking up from my notes a bit of a shock. At 330 pounds (almost 150 kg), Robonaut 2 is a big piece of machinery, and he (it's almost impossible not to think of it as a "he") looked rather intimidating looming across the room like a boxing dummy in a spacesuit.
The robot's "tucked and ready for launch" position only exacerbated the effect. With his bulky arms pulled into his chest, R2 seemed ready to throw a punch.
But Robonaut 2 isn't a fighter. The robot, developed by NASA in partnership with General Motors, is designed to help astronauts with chores and repairs aboard the International Space Station. NASA plans to launch R2 to the space station Monday (Nov. 1) aboard the space shuttle Discovery, along with six flesh-and-blood astronauts and a cargo pod that eventually will be used as a closet on the orbiting lab.
This Robonaut 2 graphic gives you a glimpse of what the robot is expected to do.