Something I should’ve written way back – my summer internship at Tartu Observatory’s space technology department and the satellite team ESTCube
To give a brief overview, ESTCube-1 is the first Estonian satellite launched last year. Its primary mission is to perform the first (yeah, a lot of firsts) in-orbit demonstration of the electric solar wind sail (E-sail) concept. It’s a propulsion innovation made by Finnish researcher Pekka Janhunen in 2006, which uses long centrifugally spanned and electrically charged tethers to extract the solar wind momentum for spacecraft thrust. Once operational, its technology is expected to revolutionize the space travel within our solar system.My internship didn’t last long, because I had already been working in the astrophysics department before that, so it was all basically kind of an introduction into the field, getting to know ESTCube-1 subsystems and the experiment which will be performed within a few weeks (you can read more about that below). I learned about the satellite’s attitude determination and control system (ADCS) and then calculated spacecraft’s thrust during the beginning of the experiment, so per tether length and taking the conditions of Earth’s plasma into account.
We are exploring new modalities of creative photography through robotics and long-exposure photography. Using a robotic arm, a light source is carried through precise movements in front of a camera. Photographic compositions are recorded as images of volumetric light. Robotic light “painting” can also be inverted: the camera is moved via the arm to create an image “painted” with environmental light. Finally, adding real-time sensor input to the moving arm and programming it to explore the physical space around objects can reveal immaterial fields like radio waves, magnetic fields, and heat flows.
Via Mediated Matter (MIT)
Robots that will fold your laundry
This is “Brett” also known as The Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks. This guy can do simple household chores. Specifically, the robot can fold laundry and is part of an ongoing project by UC Berkeley’s Pieter Abbeel.
Folding towels might seem easy to us humans, but this is actually quite complicated for a robot to do. In fact it requires a method where the robot learns the tasks by seeing how humans do it. Abbeel explains:
For robots to be integrated in unstructured or changing environments, such as a typical human household, they must develop the ability to learn from human experts and to even teach themselves.
The hope is to have these robots perform everyday chores for the elderly or disabled so that they can live more independently.
I’ll take two.
It is a strange fact that Coca Cola is so widely distributed it is easier to obtain in some places than clean water. That powerful distribution network has sparked a brilliant packaging idea: utilizing empty space is Coke shipping crates to house vital medication.
Like a pathogen finding a way to sneak a ride in past an unsuspecting immune system, ColaLife packages slips into the interstitial space between bottles to provide diarrhea medicine, addressing the second biggest contributor to childhood mortality rates in many parts of Africa. Unlike many design projects, the point is not what specifically is sent out, but how things can be shipped (the ‘what’ comes second).
Over the years, many scientists contributed to the creation of our contemporary periodic table of elements. On 20 August 1864, John Reina Newlands published one such contribution — a way to organize elements with similar chemical properties as you move from…
A classification system for science news
Science news and articles are becoming increasingly popular, but with so much being written about so many things, it can be confusing for the beginner science enthusiast to grasp what they’re reading and how to interpret it. A simple classification system could help remedy this…
Read the article by Dean Burnett
Illustrations by Barry Welch.
This… 1000 times this.
Gaming is about having fun and it gets better with the more people you share it with. Phenomenal advise.
They are having WAY more fun there than we are having in our solar system.
Source: Laughing Squid