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NASA Launches Second Robot Challenge

timothy posted about a year ago | from the this-time-make-them-creepier dept.

NASA 9

CowboyRobot writes "This week NASA kicks off its second Sample Return Robot Challenge, in which teams compete for a chance to win $1.5 million. Participants must demonstrate a self-operated robot capable of locating and collecting geologic samples from diverse terrain. Eleven teams from the U.S. and overseas gather for the challenge from June 5 through 7 at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass. The Sample Return Robot competition is part of NASA's Centennial Challenges program launched by the Space Technology Mission Directorate, which develops and tests hardware for use in NASA's future missions. NASA said the goal of the challenge is to encourage innovation in autonomous navigation and robotics technologies, which the agency could potentially use to explore a "variety of destinations in space" and in "industries and applications on Earth.""

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"Geologic"? (-1)

Krymzn (1812686) | about a year ago | (#43894117)

Geez, is it really that much harder to type or say "geological"?

Re:"Geologic"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43894311)

Seriously, people prefer "shuttered" over "closed", but hey, let's save those characters by typing "geologic".

Re:"Geologic"? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43894429)

It's a perfectly valid alternative; arguably the extra suffix in "geological" is redundant. (The USGS favours "geologic" for formal writing.)

Don't they teach people to conjugate any more?

Re:"Geologic"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43894607)

'Er, Ire. Er, eo, is, it, imus, itis, eunt'
"So eunt is....?"
'Third person plural present indicative, "they go"'
"But, "Romans, go home" is an order. So you must use...?"
'Aaaahhh! the imperative!'
"Which is...?" '"i"Ahhhh' "HOW MANY ROMANS?!" 'plural, the plural, Ite!' "iiite" *paints on wall*

Re: "Geologic"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43894455)

"Geologic" is a perfectly cromulent word.

There's more money in agricultural robots (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43895721)

You'll earn a lot more than $1.4 million if you build a robot that can pull weeds or kill bugs. Every farmer in the United States would love to quit buying herbicides and pesticides and say "Look at me, I'm organic"!

Re:There's more money in agricultural robots (1)

Stone Rhino (532581) | about a year ago | (#43896391)

We already have them. Modern tractors have GPS guidance to spray pesticides or herbicides or harvest crops essentially automatically. The driver is more or less just watching out in case something goes wrong.

Re:There's more money in agricultural robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43901513)

I run those GPS guided tractors as a farmer. They are efficient on a large scale, 30-90ft wide, flat fields. We need bots that can weed, plant and harvest by the inch. Between rows, cheaper than running a $100k tractor with a $30k GPS (plus fuel, employee, and GPS subscriptions).
There is a lot of land that is too steep, rocky, or thin soiled for our current equipment to work. We need smaller vehicles with better sensors.
Ag-bots will let me personally access several square miles of new crop land. This is going to be a really big deal. That's why I'm trying to raise awareness of it.

Re:There's more money in agricultural robots (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#43898745)

They already exist, they're called 'geese'. In China for centuries flocks of geese have been trained to eat weeds, and not food crops. Children would drive them through fields on regular schedules. I think tractors and glycophosphate are used exclusively on the large farms, but I'd be surprised if the smaller farms didn't still use them.
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