Orlando, FL--This week Florida is the place to be for the latest developments in robotics. Most significant is Thursday's launch aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour of the Canadian robot arm to the International Space Station. This next generation grappler is similar to the arm on the Shuttle that is used to release or snare payloads, and will be used on the station to perform maintenance tasks as well. But unlike the Shuttle arm, the new arm will eventually ride on rails along the station's truss structure or can move inchworm-like, end-over-end among special fixtures, containing power and data ports, mounted in several spots on station components. Visit www.pao-ksc.nasa.gov
for more details.
All week, SPIE, the international society for optical engineering (www.spie.org), is holding its annual AeroSense symposium in Orlando-devoted to developments in aerospace/defense sensing, simulation, guidance, and control. Specific conference sessions include topics such as thermal imaging in law enforcement, robotic technology for industrial vehicles, military tactical robots and unattended ground sensors, and medical developments including a non-contact prisoner health monitor and far-forward battlefield life support. Rounding out the symposium are dozens of short courses and an exhibit hall with over 150 companies and organizations, including a Russian product pavilion.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
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.