Space Agency


Assembler robots make large structures from little pieces

Robohub

Today's commercial aircraft are typically manufactured in sections, often in different locations -- wings at one factory, fuselage sections at another, tail components somewhere else -- and then flown to a central plant in huge cargo planes for final assembly. But what if the final assembly was the only assembly, with the whole plane built out of a large array of tiny identical pieces, all put together by an army of tiny robots? That's the vision that graduate student Benjamin Jenett, working with Professor Neil Gershenfeld in MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), has been pursuing as his doctoral thesis work. It's now reached the point that prototype versions of such robots can assemble small structures and even work together as a team to build up a larger assemblies. The new work appears in the October issue of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, in a paper by Jenett, Gershenfeld, fellow graduate student Amira Abdel-Rahman, and CBA alumnus Kenneth Cheung SM '07, PhD '12, who is now at NASA's Ames Research Center, where he leads the ARMADAS project to design a lunar base that could be built with robotic assembly.


Silicon Valley Insider: Intellihot, using AI and NASA Technology to Provide You Hot Water - Impakter

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Have you ever been running late for work, your hand extended into your shower, cursing its name as the water slowly warms to a temperature that would allow you to enter? Well, you may be being unsympathetic to your hot water heater, because it's likely running all day and all night to keep between 40-80 gallons of water heated, so it can be ready at your command. As you ponder the inefficiency of such a system, imagine the hot water needs of a hotel or a high-rise apartment building, with hundreds of rooms and thousands of inhabitants. The founder in this week's Silicon Valley Insider, Sridhar Deivasigamani, estimates that at any point in time in the US, there could be as much as 6 billion gallons of water being kept hot for our consumption, one-sixth the size of Lake Tahoe. Intellihot, the Galesburg, IL company founded in 2009, designs and manufactures tankless water heaters, as well as monitoring devices and apps, for residential, commercial and industrial applications.


American pair make first women-only spacewalk

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – U.S. astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir on Friday became the first female pairing to carry out a spacewalk -- a historic milestone as NASA prepares to send the first woman to the moon. "It symbolizes exploration by all that dare to dream and work hard to achieve that dream," Meir said after the seven-hour and 17-minute spacewalk to replace a power controller on the International Space Station. The mission was originally planned for earlier this year but had to be aborted due to a lack of properly fitting spacesuits, leading to allegations of sexism. Koch and Meir began the walk with standard safety checks on their suits and tethers, before making their way to the repair site on the station's port side as the sunlit Earth came into view. In a call to reporters just a few minutes before, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine emphasized the symbolic significance of the day.


Bosch SoundSee, Powered by Artificial Intelligence, Heads to the International Space Station – TechEBlog

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Global technology company Bosch is launching a new sensor system powered by artificial intelligence, called the SoundSee, to the International Space Station. This module comes equipped with microphones and uses machine learning to detect and analyze sounds it hears. It then uses these sounds to establish a baseline, and continuously compares new audio to be able to immediately discover potential mechanical issues that could cause problems. It will also be used to provide information about the current performance of the ISS systems, and when they need maintenance or repair. The Bosch SoundSee will be installed on the Astrobee robot whose ultimate goal is to take over mundane activities to enable astronauts to focus on their work.


Bosch's new 'ear' for the Space Station's Astrobee robot will let it 'hear' potential mechanical issues – TechCrunch

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Bosch is set to launch a new AI-based sensor system to the International Space Station that could change the way astronauts and ground crew monitor the ISS's continued healthy operation. The so-called "SoundSee" module will be roughly the size of a lunch box, and will make its way to the ISS via Northrop Grumman's forthcoming CRS-12 resupply mission, which is currently set for a November 2 launch. The SoundSee module combines microphones with machine learning to perform analysis of sounds it picks up from the station, which it can use to effectively establish a healthy baseline, and then continually use new audio data to compare in order to get advance notice of potential mechanical issues via changes that could signal problems. SoundSee will be mobile via installation on Astrobee, an autonomous floating cube-shaped robot that took its first totally self-guided flight in reduced gravity in June this year. Astrobee's roving role is a perfect way for Bosch's SoundSee tech, which it developed in partnership with Astrobotic and NASA, to work on and develop its autonomous sensing tech, which it will eventually use to provide info about how systems are currently performing on the ISS, and when specific systems might need maintenance or repairs -- ideally before it becomes an issue.


Assembler robots make large structures from little pieces

#artificialintelligence

Today's commercial aircraft are typically manufactured in sections, often in different locations--wings at one factory, fuselage sections at another, tail components somewhere else--and then flown to a central plant in huge cargo planes for final assembly. But what if the final assembly was the only assembly, with the whole plane built out of a large array of tiny identical pieces, all put together by an army of tiny robots? That's the vision that graduate student Benjamin Jenett, working with Professor Neil Gershenfeld in MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), has been pursuing as his doctoral thesis work. It's now reached the point that prototype versions of such robots can assemble small structures and even work together as a team to build up a larger assemblies. The new work appears in the October issue of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, in a paper by Jenett, Gershenfeld, fellow graduate student Amira Abdel-Rahman, and CBA alumnus Kenneth Cheung SM '07, Ph.D. '12, who is now at NASA's Ames Research Center, where he leads the ARMADAS project to design a lunar base that could be built with robotic assembly.


Astrobee Performs First Autonomous Flight on the International Space Station

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One of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's autonomous Astrobee robots is operating on the International Space Station. A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Astrobee robot is now up and running on the International Space Station (ISS). The goal of the robot, named Bumble, for its first autonomous mission was to undock itself, follow a flight plan consisting of a list of waypoints and objectives uploaded to the robot from the ground, and then return to its dock in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) on the ISS. So far, the biggest hurdle to the robot accomplishing its goals has been getting its localization to work in a robust way. The robot navigates visually, but it is dependent on preexisting maps rather than doing simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM).


Assembler robots make large structures from little pieces

#artificialintelligence

But what if the final assembly was the only assembly, with the whole plane built out of a large array of tiny identical pieces, all put together by an army of tiny robots? That's the vision that graduate student Benjamin Jenett, working with Professor Neil Gershenfeld in MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), has been pursuing as his doctoral thesis work. It's now reached the point that prototype versions of such robots can assemble small structures and even work together as a team to build up a larger assemblies. The new work appears in the October issue of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, in a paper by Jenett, Gershenfeld, fellow graduate student Amira Abdel-Rahman, and CBA alumnus Kenneth Cheung SM '07, PhD '12, who is now at NASA's Ames Research Center, where he leads the ARMADAS project to design a lunar base that could be built with robotic assembly. "What's at the heart of this is a new kind of robotics, that we call relative robots," Gershenfeld says.


Assembler robots make large structures from little pieces

#artificialintelligence

Today's commercial aircraft are typically manufactured in sections, often in different locations -- wings at one factory, fuselage sections at another, tail components somewhere else -- and then flown to a central plant in huge cargo planes for final assembly. But what if the final assembly was the only assembly, with the whole plane built out of a large array of tiny identical pieces, all put together by an army of tiny robots? That's the vision that graduate student Benjamin Jenett, working with Professor Neil Gershenfeld in MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), has been pursuing as his doctoral thesis work. It's now reached the point that prototype versions of such robots can assemble small structures and even work together as a team to build up a larger assemblies. The new work appears in the October issue of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, in a paper by Jenett, Gershenfeld, fellow graduate student Amira Abdel-Rahman, and CBA alumnus Kenneth Cheung SM '07, PhD '12, who is now at NASA's Ames Research Center, where he leads the ARMADAS project to design a lunar base that could be built with robotic assembly.


The cognitive AI breakthrough: Real human-like reasoning in business AI solutions

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Conventional, data-crunching artificial intelligence, which is the foundation of deep learning, isn't enough on its own; the human-like reasoning of symbolic artificial intelligence is fascinating, but on its own, it isn't enough either. The unique hybrid combination of the two -- numeric data analytics techniques that include statistical analysis, modeling, and machine learning, plus the explainability (and transparency) of symbolic artificial intelligence -- is now termed "cognitive AI." It's an extraordinary breakthrough to have the ability to implement a human-like ability to perceive, understand, correlate, learn, teach, reason, and solve problems faster than existing AI solutions. Key technology components were at the core of the wildly successful NASA Mars Rover's mission. Alone and 150 million miles from Earth, the rover was able to successfully adapt to conditions without direct instruction. After a dust storm, it taught itself to rotate its solar panels and shake off accumulated dust blocking essential solar ray absorption.