Saturday, April 7, 2012
NASA ROBOTS SHOWCASED AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY'S 'ROBOT BLOCK PARTY'
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – Two cutting-edge NASA prototype robots will be
featured during a "Robot Block Party" at Stanford University,
Stanford, Calif. from 1 – 6 p.m. PDT, Wednesday, April 11, 2012. The
Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is hosting the
free public event as part of the third annual National Robotics Week.
Robotic technology from the Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) at NASA's
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., will be on display,
including a volleyball-sized free-flying satellite, known as "Smart
SPHERES." Also featured will be a prototype robot based on a
dynamically-controlled "tensegrity structure" – a collection of rods
connected and suspended by tensioned cables – called "TenseBot."
The International Space Station currently houses three Synchronized
Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES)
equipped with a Nexus™ S Smartphone made by Samsung Electronics and
using Google’s Android™ platform. Later this year, the IRG will
remotely control the Smart SPHERES from the Mission Control Center at
NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston. The test will simulate a mobile
inspection of the space station to see how well the free-flying
robots can collect data using the smartphone's camera and sensors.
The TenseBot will be used to explore how tensegrity structures, which
are typically built as architectural art exhibits, can be controlled
by computers. Researchers in the IRG are interested in tension-based
structures because they have great potential to save space, weight
and energy and can be used for a variety of tasks on NASA's future
space missions, including deploying antennas, aligning large payloads
and pointing solar arrays.
Other robotic technology on display at the Robot Block Party includes
robots that drive cars, climb walls, assemble delicate parts, and
help perform medical procedures.
The Robot Block Party will be held in the Volkswagen Automotive
Innovation Lab at 473 Oak Rd, off Stock Farm Rd, Stanford. Park in
Parking Structure 5, or adjacent lots.
National Robotics Week is organized by the Robotics Caucus of the U.S.
Congress and leading robotics companies, schools, and organizations.