Curiosity Flexes its Robotic Arm

The NASA Mars rover Curiosity is an incredible feat of science and engineering. Last week, Curiosity used its multi-tooled robotic arm to examine a Mars rock, but NASA engineer Ashítey Trebi-Ollennu hopes that the tech on Curiosity will be available for companies here.

How the Curiosity rover’s robotic arm is blazing a trail on Mars … and Earth
by Alan Boyle

The fact that robotic operations can be conducted so smoothly from so far away is a good sign for telerobotics on Earth, Trebi-Ollennu said. He foresees a day when a “factory in a can” could be delivered to a remote location — say, a nuclear cleanup site in Japan or an oil spill in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico — and go about its business as if humans were on the scene.

“You could have somebody several thousand miles away and operate this factory in a can remotely,” Trebi-Ollennu said. “If you have a factory in the can, you can have the level of penetration that you have with cellphones today.”


Another innovation with potential earthly applications is the rover’s array of piezoelectric actuators, which use electrical impulses to shake powdered rock and soil out of its sampling containers and into its SAM and CheMin laboratories. “These have the potential of having a very big impact in the pharmaceutical industry,” Trebi-Olennu said.

Read the full article at here. How could you imagine the robotic tech on Curiosity being used in commercial industries?


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