NASA Gives Rover An Origami-Inspired Robot Scout
NASA has started testing an origami-inspired scout robot that will be used to explore the Martian surface.
Mars exploration missions have gained traction in the last few years, and space agencies are developing new rovers and robots that can enable scientists to garner more details of the Red Planet.
PUFFER: A New Robot Scout
Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot or PUFFER has been developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
This device was introduced by Jaakko Karras,who is the project manager of PUFFER at JPL, while he was testing the origami designs. Karras and his associates thought of using a printed circuit board while creating these devices.
PUFFER includes a lightweight structure and it is made in such a way that it can tuck its wheels, flatten itself, and explore places, which a typical rover cannot access.
Features Of PUFFER
The scout robot has been tested under varied rugged conditions, starting from the Mojave Desert in California to the frozen plains of Antarctica. It was put through these tests to ensure its functionality in all kinds of terrain, whether sand covered or snow laden.
Originally, this device consisted of four wheels, but at present it only has two wheels that are foldable. The folding of the wheel over the body allows the machine to roll and crawl.
It also consists of a tail which is made for stability. The robot inlcudes a "microimager," which is a high resolution camera, and solar panels are placed on the belly of the PUFFER. The machine flips over when the batteries are drained.
PUFFER can climb up to 45 degree slopes and can even fall into craters and pits unharmed. The robot is considered a strong assistant to large robotic devices that will be sent to Mars in the near term.
"They can do parallel science with a rover, so you can increase the amount you're doing in a day. We can see these being used in hard-to-reach locations - squeezing under ledges, for example," stated Karras.
Another member of the PUFFER group, Christine Fullera at JPL, said that the body and the electronics of PUFFER involve a circuit board. There are no escalating fasteners or any other parts, which are attached to it. The robot has an integrated body.
The team has built a sample of PUFFER and has already started testing it for the past few months. The officials of the PUFFER project have said that this device is not yet ready. They plan to give the robot more autonomy by including scientific instruments like gear, which identifies carbon containing organic molecules.
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Founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 with the participation of leading Russian specialists in the field of neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems.
The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimale conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies.
The main science mega-project of the 2045 Initiative aims to create technologies enabling the transfer of a individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society.
A large-scale transformation of humanity, comparable to some of the major spiritual and sci-tech revolutions in history, will require a new strategy. We believe this to be necessary to overcome existing crises, which threaten our planetary habitat and the continued existence of humanity as a species. With the 2045 Initiative, we hope to realize a new strategy for humanity's development, and in so doing, create a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future.
The "2045" team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of anthropomorphic robotics, living systems modeling and brain and consciousness modeling with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.
An annual congress "The Global Future 2045" is organized by the Initiative to give platform for discussing mankind's evolutionary strategy based on technologies of cybernetic immortality as well as the possible impact of such technologies on global society, politics and economies of the future.
Future prospects of "2045" Initiative for society
The emergence and widespread use of affordable android "avatars" controlled by a "brain-computer" interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.
Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning bodily life. Such technologies will greatly enlarge the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make all kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.
Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence, expand human capabilities and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times. The final result at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.
This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive! Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.
Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots will become affordable and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however: humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover, prerequisites for a large-scale expansion into outer space will be created as well.
Key elements of the project in the future
• International social movement
• social network immortal.me
• charitable foundation "Global Future 2045" (Foundation 2045)
• scientific research centre "Immortality"
• business incubator
• University of "Immortality"
• annual award for contribution to the realization of the project of "Immortality”.