The following image from NASA’s Curiosity rover was taken by the left mast camera (Mastcam). It shows an image of the camera on the rover’s robotic arm, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), during the 30th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars. MAHLI is one of the various tools that sit on the end of Curiosities robotic arm and is used to explore the near surrounding on Mars. After several days traveling and driving on Mars NASA’s rover Curiosity starts to test these tools on it’s robotic arm. NASA is spending several days preparing for full use of the tools on its arm.
“We will be putting the arm through a range of motions and placing it at important ‘teach points’ that were established during Earth testing, such as the positions for putting sample material into the inlet ports for analytical instruments,” said Daniel Limonadi of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., lead systems engineer for Curiosity’s surface sampling and science system. “These activities are important to get a better understanding for how the arm functions after the long cruise to Mars and in the different temperature and gravity of Mars, compared to earlier testing on Earth.”
The image below shows the exact location of the arm on NASA’s Curiosity rover, in addition to the arm’s turret, which holds two instruments and three tools. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech:
California-based Double Robotics has published a self balancing Telepresence Robot Double balances an iPad on top in order to enable people to virtually visit museums anywhere worldwide. By connecting to this Double telepresence robot you can perform a museum tour by actually driving and looking around with your telepresence avatar robot. This could also be a great device for virtual meetings or telepresence tours/visits in companies and between project teams. The robot is able to move around and to elevate the iPad at the normal height of your eyes in order to get a good overview. By using the camera, microphone and speaker a remote conversation with other real or telepresence avatars is possible. The robot contains a battery that lasts for a tour of around 8 hours, which is quite enough to nearly visit any museum, except maybe The Louvre or the Vatican Museam in which you barely scrap the surface with an 8 hour visit 😉
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a robotic mission to Mars launched by NASA on November 26, 2011, that will attempt to land a Mars rover called Curiosity on the surface of Mars. Today (August 6, 2012), it is scheduled to land in Gale Crater at about 05:31 UTC. Curiosity rover’s objectives include determining Mars’ habitability, studying its climate and geology, and collecting data for human missions. Curiosity is twice as long and five times as heavy as NASA’s previous rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The total cost of the MSL/curiosity project is about US$2.5 billion.
So if you would like to see how 2.5 billions touch down on Mars, watch this live video stream: