HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog
Video: Robotic Droplets Will Assemble Satellites
2/28/2013

Swarming robots, or droplets, developed by the University of Colorado, Boulder, may someday assemble telescopes and satellites in space.   (Source: University of Colorado, Boulder)
Swarming robots, or droplets, developed by the University of Colorado, Boulder, may someday assemble telescopes and satellites in space.
(Source: University of Colorado, Boulder)

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
EdV
User Rank
Iron
Re: Swarming robot "droplets"
EdV   3/8/2013 5:12:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Ann.  Any short list of people working on machine consciousness would have to include Ray Kurzweil.  I suspect that's exactly what he is up to at Google.  He already has a well thought out published theory of the source of consciousness in humans.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Swarming robot "droplets"
Ann R. Thryft   3/8/2013 12:45:14 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, William. I knew people working on AI back in the early 70s and again in the 90s and 00s. Trying to make computers work like we do in terms of logical processes is still a far cry from also giving them sentience and self-awareness. But no, I don't relish the thought of a toaster or a fridge with a 'tude. My computer already seems to have that problem :)



William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Swarming robot "droplets"
William K.   3/7/2013 4:56:19 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, no, I can't tell you who. 

BUT, in the public domain there have been references to some university people working towards artificial intelligence, and they have included self awareness as one means of moving toward human type judgement. My advice would remain, to "Think very carefully about the ultimate effects of your creations", because sometimes the machine does not stop just because you push the stop button.

Since people are rather less predictable than computers and robots, conside the problems that we could have if those in-animate things became a lot less predictable. What if your washing machine developed an "attitude problem", rather than just a component failure?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Swarming robot "droplets"
Ann R. Thryft   3/7/2013 12:39:10 PM
NO RATINGS
William, you've posted this basic comment/idea so often that I'm starting to think you know something about AI that the rest of us don't. The last time I looked, they were nowhere near achieving the kind of thing you're suggesting. Can you tell us any specifics of who's doing self-awareness research on the cutting edge right now?

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Swarming robot "droplets"
William K.   3/6/2013 10:10:16 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, Of course self awareness is not what these researchers are aiming for , but others are seeking to make the robots "Real", using artificial inteligence. My concern is that the AI group will create something that leads to self awarenesss, and shortly after that we will al be in trouble. Just considerthe problem of being in a cloud of rbots small enough to inhale accidentaly, and being allergic to their case materials.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Swarming robot "droplets"
Ann R. Thryft   3/6/2013 1:24:41 PM
NO RATINGS
Cabe, great visualization & metaphor. I wonder, though, if they're too small to deal with space junk. NASA is working on a different robotic system for that, which we covered here: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=249134

The satlets' size is not given, but I'd guess it's a bit bigger than these droplets.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Swarming robot "droplets"
Ann R. Thryft   3/6/2013 1:23:26 PM
NO RATINGS
William, your comment on self-awareness is interesting, but I think it's important to remember that self-assembly occurs throughout nature without necessarily implying an accompanying sentience.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Swarming robot "droplets"
Cabe Atwell   3/5/2013 3:06:04 PM
NO RATINGS
These bots remind me of white blood cells. They will surround a satellite until it is fixed. That will be interesting.

These bots should also travel around and disassemble the derelict space debris and push it all into a decaying orbit.

C

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Swarming robot "droplets"
Ann R. Thryft   3/4/2013 1:03:16 PM
NO RATINGS
William, the researchers mentioned primarily assembly, not repair. The repair mentioned in the article was done by larger robots, and on coral reefs, which takes very little strength: picking up and placing very small pieces of coral. And swarms of small robots have worked together to assemble structures both large and small:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W18Z3UnnS_0
http://www.idsc.ethz.ch/Research_DAndrea/Archives/Flying_Machine_Enabled_Construction

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Swarming
Ann R. Thryft   3/4/2013 1:02:30 PM
NO RATINGS
All good questions, Cabe. I'm sure we'll learn more if/when the space application ever emerges. So far, it's one of several the research team envisions, not an actual project in progress.

<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
Here's a variety of views into the complex production processes at Santa's factory. Happy Holidays!
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
Thanks to 3D printing, some custom-made prosthetic limbs, and a Lego set, one lucky dog and a tortoise has learned new tricks.
With Radio Shack on the ropes, let's take a memory trip through the highlights of Radio Shack products.
Computer security firm Norton has partnered with clothing company Betaband on a pair of jeans that will keep your RFID-tagged credit cards and documents safe from wireless theft.
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service