Space Robotics

New Robot Arm Installed on Space Station

Posted 27 Jan 2005 at 21:02 UTC by steve Share This

NASA has announced that a 5 hour 28 minute space walk by two ISS astronauts has been completed and the International Space Station now has a new, external robot arm. The double-jointed manipulator arm is known as ROKVISS (Robotics Component Verification on ISS) and is part of a German commercial experiment. The device can operate in both an autonomous mode and in a telepresence mode. The primary purpose of the arm is to test the long-term reliability of new, lightweight robotics components in space. A Sci-Tech article has more info on the new arm and also mentions that the astronauts discoverd a mysterious, white, honeycomb-like substance growing on the outside of the space station during their spacewalk (yikes!). More info about the ROKVISS arm itself can be found in a 12 page concept overview document (PDF format).


Bees In Space!, posted 27 Jan 2005 at 22:19 UTC by jeffkoenig » (Master)

Didn't some honeybees die in an orbital experiment some years back?

Maybe they sent out a distress signal...

"Mysterious, white, honeycomb-like"?, posted 27 Jan 2005 at 23:06 UTC by AI4U » (Observer)

But that's impossible. Space is a vacuum. How can something grow in a vacuum? Can it be a process of accretion of particles of dust? But then what will bind the dust particles together? Space-glue? Velcro(tm)- dust? This little news item may be something that balloons up really big over time. By the way, if the space-faring robot needs an artificial mind, here is an AI 4 U, robot.

Im not being funny but..., posted 28 Jan 2005 at 13:41 UTC by c6jones720 » (Master)

Im not being funny but my Internet explore has been playing up ever since I clicked on that AI4U link...

I'm not being funny, either..., posted 28 Jan 2005 at 16:28 UTC by AI4U » (Observer)

To Chris Jones writing immediately above, I must explain that the "jsaimind.html" AI 4 U link was written using JavaScript and using Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 (MSIE 5). There have been reports that the AI does not work with MSIE 6 -- which you perhaps are using. But I do not expect any problems to remain after you close down the original session in which the AI may not have worked. BTW, is anybody able to explain here what line(s) of JavaScript code in the AI may be incompatible with MSIE levels above 5? TIA and sorry if there were any problems. -ATM

Javascript, posted 28 Jan 2005 at 16:34 UTC by steve » (Master)

It also doesn't work with any version of Mozilla, Firefox, or any other bowser that I've got on my Linux box. I suspect it's not actually Javascript but Javascript-like Microsoft code of some sort.

Goo goo!, posted 28 Jan 2005 at 21:00 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

Grey goo, Red goo, now White goo! I figure it's just that there's some kind of magnetic honeycomb metallic panel inside the space station that's attracting space dust to the outside. But who knows. Didn't the space station have to be disinfected before because of strange mold growing? (ie: green goo?) Whatever you do, don't eat the yellow goo!

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