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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great concept and potential
Ann R. Thryft   9/18/2013 11:38:18 AM
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Thanks, jhankwitz, for the enthusiasm and suggestions about how this might be implemented. When you say "managed by a few people" I assume you mean remotely, correct? One open question is just how autonomous the SpiderFab robot will be.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: New spaceman is a robot
Ann R. Thryft   9/18/2013 11:35:51 AM
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Chuck, I had to read that same phrase twice--the mind boggled and it didn't scan the first time. This robot is being developed to build some of the huge space structures many of us have read about.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: New spaceman is a robot
Rob Spiegel   9/18/2013 11:34:27 AM
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I never saw the prequel. I've heard it's very good. There were robotic aspects of the creture in the Alien movies.

jhankwitz
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Platinum
Great concept and potential
jhankwitz   9/18/2013 11:16:59 AM
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This is a great idea. Creating a 3D manufacturing plant in space could certainly enable production of components that can't now be launched due to size and structure. Parts currently need to be able to withstand launch vibration and size restrictions. Having a manufacturing plant stabilized with gyros and flywheels, managed by a few people, and powered by sunlight would be a giant step forward.

a.saji
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Silver
Re: New spaceman is a robot
a.saji   9/18/2013 5:39:00 AM
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@Murray: Yes it would be absolutely awesome. I feel it wont happen during our lifetime for sure.

Charles Murray
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Re: New spaceman is a robot
Charles Murray   9/17/2013 6:19:08 PM
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One phrase in this story jumped out at me: "kilometer-scale systems." If you imagine a 1-km structure here on earth, it's mind-bloggling. I wonder how long it would take to build kilometer-scale systems with 3D printers.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: How does it stabilize itself?
Ann R. Thryft   9/17/2013 1:37:01 PM
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Great questions, 78RPM. How the robot navigates and stabilizes itself was not described anywhere. I suspect that may not have been worked out yet, or that it's related to how the Tresselator functions. Such problems have already been worked out for the (attached-to-the-ISS) Canadarm, which we've written about here: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=267732

What are your ideas?

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: New spaceman is a robot
Ann R. Thryft   9/17/2013 1:29:30 PM
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Rob, interesting idea that the Alien was a robot. According to the prequel, Prometheus, the answer to that appears to be "no."

78RPM
User Rank
Platinum
How does it stabilize itself?
78RPM   9/17/2013 1:15:21 PM
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It would seem like the movement of the arms would create torque that would rotate or move the robot relative to the part it's printing. How does it stabilize itself when printing and fastening those thin parts? Does it have anything like jet packs? Does it have flywheels like an image-steady camera lens?

78RPM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: New spaceman is a robot
78RPM   9/17/2013 1:02:50 PM
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How does the robot keep from drifting away into space? How does it get back to its supply station to get more material? Does it have to walk back on the web it has created?

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