(You can click here to go and read my other previous article on the plans that SpaceX was going to approach before this!)
After the four difficult tests that SpaceX has tried on their upcoming 'Reusing Rockets' project, they were epic failures. April 8, 2016 has become a HUGE milestone for the spaceflight company because they have finally nailed their Falcon 9 rocket landing after several tests. Falcon 9 landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean, the coast of Florida. In the previous four tests, SpaceX had their rockets land on drone ships, but not exactly where expected, causing huge fiery explosions.
As theverge.com clearly states, "It’s also the second time the company has pulled off a landing." Yes that is correct, this is the second time SpaceX has been able to make their rocket return back successfully to earth. The first rocket landing was on December 21, 2015 where SpaceX was able to land their Falcon 9 on a ground base after launching it into space. Theverge.com also strongly claimed, "It's the first time SpaceX has been able to gently touch down the Falcon 9 post-launch — something the company has been trying to do for the past year. It’s a big first step toward reusable rockets." (This was on December 21, 2015) Now, it seems that four months later, SpaceX is also able land their Falcon 9 rocket into a drone ship at sea. It is the second landing of a rocket, but the first landing at sea for SpaceX.
Although there has ALREADY been a landing on land by the space exploration company Blue Origin, what makes the landing of SpaceX 'better and accurate' is that for the majority of the times, they are using lightweight rockets, Falcon 9. Falcon 9 is 135 ft in height, and measures 12 ft in radius, according to theverge.com. Compared to Blue Origin's landing, they used their rocket called New Shepard that is nearly half the length in height compared to the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 can travel up to 124 miles distance away from planet earth, while the New Shepard can only go up to 62 miles. Just because Blue Origin accomplished something that SpaceX was trying to do, it's not exactly the same because the Blue Origin rocket was meant to take passengers/crew members to space, while Falcon 9 is supposed to carry satellites and help boost spaceships up into space. It all depends on what you think of a rocket, according to theverge.com. Also, the New Shepard rocket vertically lands, while the Falcon 9 is in any position.
This has become history and a big milestone for SpaceX because it is somethings that will be VERY beneficial in the future. People and the social medias are making a huge deal about it because of its important . For example, SpaceX is taking this time to congratulate themselves for this long process! The videos on the tests are all over the news headline, and the tweets coming from SpaceX and the offices.
One of the main reasons why SpaceX wanted to try testing if Falcon 9 could land sea was because according to the video on theverge.com, it actually takes LESS fuel for their rockets to land at sea after it has been separated by the main spaceship, and it is a 'more direct' path back down to earth, since there is no gravity in space. This also makes it easier for the drone ships to be able to 'catch' the rocket. Now, the reasons why SpaceX would choose sea landing rather than land is because when the rocket is separated by the spaceship, it takes MORE fuel for their rockets to return, and in a curved difficult path. Also according to the video, SpaceX is expected to land one-third of their rockets on land, and the rest at sea. The main purpose why only one-third of the rockets are going to return to land is because those rockets use a heaver load, and a heavier load results of MORE fuel. We know that MORE FUEL causes a 'curved path' landing.
This also means that because of this discovery there is ALSO another benefit, the cost of the rockets used per launch. So it now seems like SpaceX will be collaborating with possible other spaceflight and space exploration companies to limit the cost of the launch per rocket. So the more SpaceX and other companies will be able to reuse their rockets, the LESS it would cost, and the MORE space explorations there will potentially be.
This big accomplishment is history for the spaceflight company due to the fact they are the first ones to complete a mission in space, and successfully land on a drone ship in the ocean. According to the article of cnet.com, they state, "SpaceX successfully launched its Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station atop the Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Friday at about 1:45 p.m. PT. The drone landing took place about 10 minutes later.The Falcon 9 reached a top speed of over 4,000 miles per hour during launch and then had to be slowed down on its return to Earth and guided to "Of Course I Still Love You," the name of the drone ship landing pad that was waiting off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean.'"
If you read my previous article on SpaceX, then you know how I talked about the different methods that they had in mind, when they were attempting the tests. In fact, one of them was the 'Grasshopper' mechanism. SpaceX actually used this mechanism for their final test. If you look at the video above, then you will notice how when the Falcon 9 slowly returns down to the drone ship, you will notice how on the rocket there are these 'legs' that were at the very bottom of the rocket, and that is the 'Grasshopper mechanism. '
It seems like this has become a very HUGE accomplishment for SpaceX, and will be used for several purposes later-on in the future of the Astronomy field. Not only this discovery has caused several benefits for reusing the rockets used for spaceship take-offs, but there are also some economical benefits because there will be MORE spaceflight explorations. Before, there used to be LESS spaceship launches every year, but now that I'm looking closer at it, it seems like there will be more explorations from MORE companies. It seems like in the real world, more companies and industries are trying to help protect the earth, SpaceX is trying to reuse their spaceship rockets, and more companies are trying to do more and more overtime.
For the past couple of years, 3D printing has become a great manmade utility and discovery for many people who are using this form of advanced and futuristic technology. Doctors have already used 3D printing to make organs for patients, people have made kitchen utensils, phone cases, food, and much much more! Recently, a group of researchers and engineers at the university of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have been using 3D printing in a different manner. They have designed and made 3D printed robots. They believe that designing and using 3D printed robots allows faster complex designs and models, and is much affordable.
The robot may look like a child's toy, because of its rare looking design, and the fact that it is made of plastic. This robot is one foot wide and one foot long according to news.mit.edu.com. It took 22 hours to create this six-legged modified robot, weighing 1.5 pounds, costing a little bit more than $100,000 in total, according to Nola.com. In particular, for the robot to be able to move, what makes these NOT your average robot, is that these are hydraulic pumped robots, meaning that they use liquids to give it power. In this case, the hydraulics is like the motor that is what makes the robot have function. These robots also have pneumatic tanks, which are basically air pumps that give it power, instead of water. They are solid and liquid material produced. In aspects of what parts this robot uses in order to move, it has inserted a simple single battery, a motor, sensors, and a mini tactic computer. What is interesting about this robot is that since it is 3D printed, there is no need for complicated assembly and looking for parts like usual robots.
MIT used a Stratasys Objet260 Connex 3D printer in order to printout their robot. Since the design that MIT had in mind was for their robot to be hydraulic powered, the 3D printer they used wasn't necessarily made to accept and liquids, only laserjet plastic cartridges. According to Washingtonpost.com, they state that what MIT did was, "The researchers essentially hacked the machine, inserting a different computer chip in the cartridge holding their liquid of choice — the machine’s cleaning fluid — so that the 3D printer thought it was actually printing plastic, not liquid."
According to the MIT video on Nola.com, some 3D printed parts that is accommodated into the robot are: "Gear pumps to move hydraulic fluid, bellows actuators to move the robot's legs, and a rotating crankshaft to actuate the hydraulic transmission." And yes, all these parts were 3D printed.
During the process of the three-dimensional printing, it is printed in terms of layers, starting from the bottom to the way up, and there were some certain textures and structures of the robot that had to be printed a certain way. For example, as seen on the image above provided by the official MIT test video, the color yellow, represented the 'support' or the fundamental base of the robot, the strong structure that holds everything up. The green color indicates the flexible and bendable texture of the plastic from the robot. The dark green indicates the rigid structure of the robot, the unbendable parts, that most likely if you bend it all the way, it could snap! Lastly, the purple color indicates the liquid printed parts, which began as like a 'melted' plastic, and so then it got hard into a solid plastic.
Nola.com clearly states from the words of Daniela Rus (professor at MIT) saying, "It makes a big difference in what kind of machines you can make," said professor Daniela Rus, who oversaw the project. "If you can make complex robots really fast -- print them like you print a piece of paper -- you can imagine not having to worry so much about whether you lost your robot." It seems like Daniela Rus thinks that 3D printing is just as easy and can be made accurately possible just as printing something on a piece of paper. From what Danile Rus is also saying, it seems like she is trying to state that you can do MORE than just 3D print regular ordinary items, but you can do find more insane things of advanced technology.
Now, when more and more people later-on in the future have the ability to get ahold of this 3D printing technology, people will be designing and creating all sorts of things, and one of those things are robot s just like how MIT did. Who knows, maybe in the future people will be making other things, maybe food? Is there such thing as edible 'plastic ink' cartridges? Will there be an advancement of edible printed food? There are more than thousands and thousands of items and things that people can make with three-dimensional printers! Will there be such thing in the future where one of your parents possibly say, "Dinner is printed!"
1) 3D printed robot image courtesy of news.mit.edu.com. 2) Stratasys Objet260 Connex printer image courtesy of javelin-tech.com. 3) 3D printing textures image/graph courtesy of MIT official video on www.washingtonpost.com. 4) 3D printed pizza image courtesy of technivorz.com.
Do you ever see an airplane or spaceship flying across the sky? Do you know what airplanes and spaceships use and do in order to go to space or fly across the world? When a Spaceship (in particular) takes-off, they use rockets in order to 'lift' and carry themselves into space. When the actual spaceship has reached to the earth's atmosphere, while taking-off, there is no need for the rockets anymore, so there are these explosive bolts that separate the actual rockets from the spaceship. The rockets then drop back down to earth with a parachute, into the ocean and this causes them to NOT be able to be reused again for other departures.
Recently, the spaceflight exploration company, SpaceX, has been working on their reusable rocket method from spaceship departures. Basically, how SpaceX plans to make their rockets used for lift-offs reusable is to develop a plan for when their rockets drop down back to earth, they don't fall into the ocean, instead they want their rockets to return on their launch pad vertically, or on ocean landing sites.
SpaceX has two methods and goals in mind that they will approach for their reusable rocket plans. Now, SpaceX is currently working on some flight testing, but lately there isn't some accuracy landing. As in the phase of the beginning stages, SpaceX just wants to begin with their rockets landing on their boats and ship launch pads, and in specific, land completely standing in a vertical position. It seems like there has to be accurate precision from the rockets because they had to land in a difficult position in a particular spot and location. How is SpaceX controlling where they land? How do they know WHERE they are going to land? Are they using monitors and computers to know where the rockets land and at what speed coming from the sky?
The second plan that SpaceX has in mind is to have a springing mechanism, and they call it the 'Grasshopper Reusability Test.' Basically, the point of this second method is that the rockets attached to the spaceship will have the 'Grasshopper' mechanism somewhere around the bottom surface, so since the point of the rockets is to land in a position standing up, the 'springing' mechanism will touch the flat surface. The fact that the rockets have a 'springy' mechanism makes the rockets not be pushed and forced against the ground, so it is a safer landing, and will not damage the rocket, so it would e able to be reused. It seems like this method for being able to reuse their spaceship rockets will be the closest to become a possibility.
The main purpose why SpaceX wants to reuse their rockets is because according to Elon Musk on SpaceX.com, he clear states, “If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred. A fully reusable vehicle has never been done before. That really is the fundamental breakthrough needed to revolutionize access to space.” It seems like what Elon Musk is trying to say is that if they are able to reuse their rockets, then they can be able to afford more spaceflight explorations. Does it seem like their rockets might be a little bit pricey? After some research, one other possible reason why SpaceX would want to be able to reuse their rockets is because according to Space.com, spaceflight companies like NASA spend at least $500 Million per rocket launch. This makes more sense now.
In conclusion, it seems like SpaceX might come down to and end result to HOW they would want to reuse their rockets that were used in spaceship take-offs. There were two methods and plans that SpaceX had in mind, and it is factual thatches spaceflight company might be doing this possibly because they don't want to spend millions and millions of dollars on their rockets launches. Also, not ONLY because of the expensive amounts, but just like how Elon Musk stated, the less the rockets are, the more opportunities and chances astronauts get to go to space explorations. Maybe the next time we see or hear about a spaceship departure, will they possibly be using SpaceX's 'Grasshopper' mechanism, will the rockets STILL have the parachutes, or will they return to their ocean and land launching pads?
1) First image of U.S.Spaceshuttle courtesy of mrmyrtuesclassroom.com. 2) Image of Specshuttle departure courtesy of en.wikipedia.org. 3) Grasshopper mechanism image courtesy of SpaceX.com. 4) Spaceshuttle releasing rockets image courtesy of buran.su.
You purchase an Apple device and use it until the end, or either you upgrade to an newer and improved product. There are several metals and components that go into the making of the Apple device that take a long time to mine in other countries. There are more than millions and millions of Apple iPhones and devices in the hands of many people worldwide. In particular, what happens after you move-on without your device? What happens to all the precious valuable metals that went into creating the device? What goes on after?
Recently, the all-time company Apple, has been working on their 'Renewing and Recycling' project particularly with their own Apple devices. Basically, since Apple wants to approach one of the very couple issues in the world, the limited amount of natural resources. The take that Apple has very recently taken in this situation is to begin with the recycling and renewing of their very own devices. Since there is a lot of valuable raw materials that go into producing the device like: copper, gold, silver, platinum, Yttrium, Lanthanum, and Dysprosium, just to name a few, these are considered 'rare earths' according to Quora.com. These raw materials including more, are precious to the earth, and are mined by hand, by people. Apple has taken this problem and has developed their own solution.
Apple has closely and firmly designed their Apple recycling robot, Liam. Liam has 29 different robotic arms that has the ability to take apart any of Apple's devices. As Liam is taking apart the product, it also sorts and and organizes each material component into a separate category that will be later-on used to recycle into new parts. For instance, when Liam is destructing a device like the iPhone 6, 6s, 6s Plus, it separates the sim card slot, the copper, gold, silver, aluminum, the camera, screen, battery, screws, frames, and so much more. Not only with the iPhone, but with other devices as well. In fact, one of Apple's future plans is to have several 'Liams' in other countries and continents, according to telecom.com.
According to cultofmac.com, they had mentioned "Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives. Jackson, a woman of color, talked at length about Apple’s considerable advances in recycling and renewable energy. She reported that Apple is approaching 100 percent renewable energy worldwide and is close to using 100 percent environment-friendly packaging. She introduced a recycling robot called Liam that strips obsolete iPhones of their valuable materials. Liam is not perfect — there’s still a lot of waste — but it’s a step in the right direction." This shows that Lisa Jackson strongly believes that Liam will be a useful robot and tool for Apple, especially looking back at the uses of raw materials used to make their expensive devices.
Furthermore, also according to cultofmac.com, they stated that "Cook said big companies like Apple need to lead on climate change. In the absence of government leadership, corporations need to act on their own. “This is one of the areas where we could step up and lead,” he said, “especially when there’s a void from government.'" It seems like, Tim Cook, chief executor of Apple Inc., is trying to say that the Apple needs to be one of the very first couple companies to try to stop climate change, and the limited amount of natural resources. In other words, Tim Cook is trying to lead Apple Inc. into trying to be 'green' and make earth a better place to live in, by beginning with their own products.
In conclusion, Apple wants to take Liam in a certain direction where they want it to make it something that will really make them as a company look 'better' and even more prestigious because they are approaching a problem that is HUGE worldwide, and as a company, they are using their own robots to deconstruct and take apart their own devices. Although Liam is still something very new and recent from Apple, this is STILL a big project that can help reuse and renew their raw materials that were used to make their devices. Maybe, it is possible that Apple will want to reuse their raw materials to make their NEWER devices for the future.
1) Liam robot image courtesy of macstories.net. 2) Apple devices image courtesy of vestavialibrary.org. 3) Healthy tree image courtesy of solucientsecurity.com.
4) iPhone 6 image in slideshow courtesy of macworld.co.uk. 5) Apple Inc. Liam robot images in slideshow courtesy of Apple Inc. YouTube video.
A quad flying drone? A walking robot? What happens if you put these two technology advancements together, but in a very microscopic size?
Recently, engineers and researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have designed and created a lightweight robot that has many capabilities. You might be a bit confused as their size appears to be a lot like a swarming pact of flying bugs and insects. Surprisingly as it only weighs 30 grams, you will be awed to what this robot drone can do.
After given the name "Picobug" this robot drone was inspired by the movement and flight of a stag beetle. According to PBS, Picobug has the ability to fly up to 13 miles per hour, and walk across a 10-foot-table in about 19 seconds. It can fly, climb, jump, and glide. The robot drone has an insane top flying speed of 6 meters/second and could crawl 0.16 meters/second, according to SPECTRUM.com. SPECTRUM also states that its weight of 30 grams is equivalent to the weight of a third of a regular battery. Its super lightweight makes the robot drone have to capabilities to easily transition from walking and crawling to flying, or the other way around. It is a microscopic quadcopter and walking robot that also accommodates cameras that could be closely possible for surveillance recording.
In fact, surveillance recording is one of the very couple key points that Yash Mulgaonkar, researcher at the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP laboratory, has in mind for Picobug. Not only surveillance, but Yash Mulgaonkar strongly claims, "The robot could be used to explore nuclear reactors or similar facilities where the Picobug would be better able to navigate through any air ducts, holes, or any other confined spaces, Mulgaonkar told IEEE Spectrum." This shows that Yash wants the robot drone to be used in such instances that other robots can't be used in, especially because of it's specifically microscopic size like the: air ducts, holes, confined spaces, etc.
On the other hand, according to Quartz.com, Yash Mulgaonkar also clearly believes that their robot drone will have a griping and grabbing mechanism for their 'undercover' purposes, as they are still developing this on their robot. So it seems like Yash Mulgaonkar wants this development of this robot drone to be mostly on the 'surveillance and undercover' category, other than using this robot for other uses. It also seems like the factual small size is one of the very couple reasons that made the decision to use it for surveillance purposes.
It sounds like the University of Pennsylvania is trying to make their use of the robot drone into more of a spying and surveillance type of robot. The engineers and researchers are taking information from the real world on what they already know, the concept of a stag beetle, to use that to make their own robot. We know that it will be used most likely for surveillance, but what we still don't know and ponder, is that what specific type or use of surveillance will it be added to. Just like how Yash Mulgaonkar said, he waned to perform surveillance in possible areas like to explore nuclear reactors. Will this insanely microscopic robot drone be used with the Police, Federal Government, or even possibly the FBI?
1) First image courtesy of spectrum.ieee.org. 2) Second image from techyhuman.com. 3) Final image from care2.com.
The company Google, has been recently working and improving on their Self-Driving Car Project. It is believed that this car is going to make the roads safer, and replace the use of humans as drivers. It has sensors and cameras to detect when it is their turn to go, and their turns to stop. Even though this car has been in recent accidents, we still don't know if this vehicle is going to become a success and actually make the roads safer.
In the article, Alberto Broggi, professor studying autonomous cars at the Università di Parma in Italy, believes that the vehicle won't be able to quickly respond to street or route changes through out a "map-dependent system." If you actually think about what Alberto Broggi is saying, perhaps the self driving car won't be able to detect if a certain street is closed in the route to go to a location with its sensors and cameras, what will the vehicle do in this scenario? Maybe this is something Google needs to improve on, having their autonomous car detect particular route changes and having the ability to make quick responses.
According to technology review.com, Michael Wagner (Carnegie Mellon researcher on robotics) strongly thinks that it is very important that Google doesn't stress out themselves on what their autonomous car can and cannot do. “This is a very early-stage technology, which makes asking these kinds of questions all the more justified," according to the article. This seems like, Michael Wagner is trying to say that Google is trying to fit TOO many things into their autonomous car, and aren't focusing on what it can do.
It sounds like, the Google Self-Driving car is the start of electric future autonomous cars. Even though this is still an improving project, we still don't exactly know if this vehicle is going to become a success and actually make the roads safer, which is what Google's final goal is to the end of this project.
First iImage from Google's Self Driving Car Project website.
Other images in slideshow source from National.co.uk website.
Imagine you have your hand or arm cut off? All the abilities you will lose and never have for the rest of your life? Recently, in an article provided by Cnet, in two technology companies in Switzerland and Italy, (Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Italy's Scuola Superiore) they have both been working on a bionic fingertip that lets an amputee feel textures again. For example, people that have gone to war, and have unfortunately come back with certain conditions, can now have the opportunity to feel certain textures, by a conducted research and discovery. It is interesting to see what they have done!
In this research, it has been tested with particular amputees both as well with non-amputees to see the contrast between the textures, and what the people felt.
Basically, in this recent discovery, the engineers and researchers in both technology companies, have developed a small design of a finger, but that can feel certain textures and surfaces. So, when the engineers and researchers rubbed it against certain surfaces and textures, the finger design was linked with computers and monitors that would show certain graphs of the textures felt by the "finger." This model can also feel pressure points for example, when there's too much force applied on to an item or object, the monitors can detect certain statistics. This was tested on amputee people, and surprisingly with a lot of effort, they were able to feel textures and surfaces again, where they hadn't had the feeling of in a while. The finger model was somehow connected to the human by a series of nerves running through their amputee location by computers and monitors. Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Italy's Scuola Superiore have only began with this new discovery, and will expand their research and engineering on this recent discovery that could help thousands of lives from people who have gone through serious conditions.