As NASA gears up to send humans to the moon and Mars it is also working on new advances to protect the space terrains from human germs. The American space agency released updates to its Planetary Protection Policies that provide new requirements for both astronaut and robotic missions. The added policies note that no biological matter is left on or around the moon, along with humans are to not contaminate any part of Mars with biological materials or return to Earth with germs from the Red Planet. The first woman and next man are set to head to the moon in 2024 and the first crewed mission to Mars is planned for the 2030s – and as early as 2035. The added policies note that no biological matter is left on or around the moon.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Senior Air Force commanders are employing new tactics, technologies and protocols to better safeguard drones from being shot down by enemy fire during missions. Air Force Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the commander of U.S. Forces Europe, recently told reporters that senior U.S. military leaders are now in an effort to increase mission survivability for combat drones operating in high-risk areas. Responding to a question about an MQ-9 Reaper being shot down over Yemen last year, Harrigian emphasized that drone operations need to become less predictable to enemies. "There is something to be said for operating in a manner that offers us an opportunity to not be as predictable as we have been.
For about a decade, we have heard rumors that a new generation of automated technologies has learned to do our jobs. If these tech prophecies were true, robots and algorithms should have been ready to step in during the lockdowns and finally prove that they can work more safely, cheaply, and efficiently than we can. But when COVID-19 raised the curtain on automation, people stepped into the spotlight. As the lockdowns begin to end, we must remember that today's crisis is not about automation. It's about how we value and protect the people whose labor sustains the world.
The US drone strike that killed Iran's top general Qassem Soleimani was "unlawful", the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings concluded in a report on Tuesday. US President Donald Trump ordered the killing in a January 3 drone strike near Baghdad international airport. Soleimani was "the world's top terrorist" and "should have been terminated long ago", Trump said at the time. Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the attack. Callamard concluded that it was an "arbitrary killing" that violated the UN charter.
By all appearances, May Mobility was a scrappy success story. The autonomous transportation startup made its debut at Y Combinator's demo day in 2017, with a team that had been working on driverless tech since the third U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge in 2017. Within the span of a few years, May had a roster of paying customers in Michigan, Ohio, and Rhode Island as it raised tens of millions in venture capital from investors including Toyota and BMW. But on the inside looking out, it was a different story. May engineers struggled to maintain and upgrade the company's vehicle platform, at one point spending months attempting to install an air conditioning system in the depths of summer.
Best listening experience is on Chrome, Firefox or Safari. The irony of artificial intelligence is how much human brainpower is required to build it. For three years, our next guest had been on loan from the University of Massachusetts, to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. There's she headed up several DARPA artificial intelligence projects. Now she's been awarded a high honor, the Meritorious Public Service Medal.
In times of crisis, we all want to know where the robots are! And young roboticists just starting their careers, or simply thinking about robotics as a career, ask us'How can robotics help?' and'What can I do to help?'. Cluster organizations like Silicon Valley Robotics can serve as connection points between industry and academia, between undergrads and experts, between startups and investors, which is why we rapidly organized a weekly discussion with experts about "COVID-19, robots and us" (video playlist). During our online series, we heard from roboticists directly helping with all sorts of COVID-19 response, like Gui Cavalcanti of Open Source Medical Supplies and Alder Riley of Helpful Engineering. Both groups are great examples of the incredible power of people working together.
NASA is asking for your help to guide its Curiosity rover around sand traps, sharp rocks and other obstacles on the Red Planet. A new online tool called AI4Mars, hosted on Zooniverse, allows anyone to label parts of the terrain in the landscape surrounding Curiosity, which has been roving on Mars since 2012. The tool is a form of "machine learning" that allows rover planners assisting with Curiosity's movements to train the rover's intelligence for safe route planning. Picking an appropriate pathway is a pressing problem for Martian rovers. Curiosity's wheels wore down in the early years of its mission from driving over sharp rocks, while another Mars rover called Spirit got permanently stuck in a sand trap in 2010.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. The Chinese Army is preparing to deploy small, new, tracked war-robots armed with machine guns, night vision, missile loaders, and camera sensors to conduct attacks while leaving manned systems at safer stand-off distances. Citing a China Central Television segment on the robots, People's Online Daily reports that the "thigh-high robot looks like a small assault vehicle. Target practice results showed the robot has acceptable accuracy."