Author - Yoni Raz

Earth Tech News TooCool

The Astronaut Smart Glove Was Field-Tested and It’s a Go!

The NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) has successfully field-tested the astronaut smart glove. It’s deliberately designed for exploration on Mars, the Moon, and other destinations. The Smart Glove is a model for a human-machine interface or HMI, allowing astronauts to wirelessly operate robotic equipment such as drones through simple hand gestures.

Just last month, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration revealed their new Artemis Generation spacesuit, created to keep astronauts comfortable and safe on the Moon’s surface.

That said, SETI Institute claims spacesuits will still remain cumbersome, limiting the ability of astronauts to perform precise tasks. Pascal Lee, a planetary scientist with SETI and the Mars Institute, said a smart glove-equipped spacesuit might just be the solution.

Lee believes astronauts could easily control a number of robotic assets, making science and exploration on Mars, the Moon, and other destinations more effective and productive. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s startup Ntention, which is run by students, developed the smart glove that was tested in HMP’s 2019 field campaign.

Intuitive Human-machine Interfaces

Moina Medboe Tamuly, COO at Ntention, said their philosophy is to create technology that will allow human-machine interfacing intuitive and seamless. They are very excited to see their technology has potential applications in space exploration.

Lee suggested that after seeing the demonstration of the glove for space applications, it could be applied to an astronaut’s spacesuit. Lee added when he first saw the smart glove in action, he immediately thought of Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law, saying any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

With Tamula as lead designer, the Ntention team accepted his challenge to create a prototype that uses a microcontroller to read subtle motions. These subtle motions are transferred to a mobile device to control a robot. The smart glove was interspersed into an existing Collins Aerospace spacesuit and then put through a series of field tests involving the teleoperation of commercial drones.

When astronauts are on Mars or the Moon, they want to fly drones for a number of reasons, including collecting a sample that is out of reach or must be isolated from contamination. Another reason could be to perform a search and rescue operation. Other purposes might include mapping, sampling, surveying, fetching, scouting, and inspecting.

Further assessment of the Astronaut Smart Glove for Mars and Moon exploration will continue along with applications to control other kinds of robotic equipment including robotic manipulators and rovers.

The NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) has successfully field-tested the astronaut smart glove. It’s deliberately designed for exploration on Mars, the Moon, and other destinations. The Smart Glove is a model for a human-machine interface or HMI, allowing...

Cool Stories Humans Are Awesome

Shipping Containers Used as Art Venues

David Mach is a Scottish artist and he has become known for making surreal collages and sculptural installations. However, his largest work to date is turning 36 shipping containers into event spaces in Edinburgh.

Mach1, which is the name of the building, is an extraordinary creation in collaboration with Dixon Jones, an architecture studio, and it will become a new focus point on Edinburgh Park, which is a 43-acre business park created by Richard Meier.

Mach took inspiration from piles of rocks on the Fife coastline to create this building and the red color is representative of Forth Bridge and the industrial heritage of Edinburgh. When this creation is completed, it will be 15 meters or 49 feet tall and 50 meters or 164 feet long.

Spacious Inside

On the inside, it will feature a coffee bar and a double-height exhibition space that will show the master plan of the park with scale models, drawings, and information boards so visitors can learn more about the place.

Parabola is developing and investing on this project and they plan to make the space available for events and it will also be used as a marketing office. Construction is set to begin early next year and the park will continue to evolve and grow with other projects being planned such as shops, restaurants, facilities for sports and leisure, and others.

Behind this idea, there’s Mach’s architectural interest in shipping containers. More than a piece of art, the building is a piece of architecture. Shipping containers are familiar and they’re universal, but this building will be something else entirely, which is what Mach wants to accomplish as an artist. To make something completely new out of the ordinary.

Of course, there are challenges to making this kind of building. The team working on this is still figuring out whether or not every part of the building will be made out of shipping containers. However, it is clear that the building absolutely has to look like real containers and it has to be strong. Strong enough to drive a tank over it.

Mach’s vision is to get people to look at this building and think this is something familiar, even though it’s something new entirely.

Leaping from sculpture to architecture might seem like something quite unexpected or unlikely. But for Mach, that’s not the case. In fact, this is not the first time the artist experiments with shipping containers. He has used them for sculptures such as “It Take Two” and “The Temple at Tyre.” This means it’s an idea that has been brewing in his mind for a long time.

David Mach is a Scottish artist and he has become known for making surreal collages and sculptural installations. However, his largest work to date is turning 36 shipping containers into event spaces in Edinburgh.

Mach1, which is the name of the building, is...

Animals Earth Nature & Tech

A Swarm of Ladybugs in California That Shook the World!

The National Weather Service in San Diego said a huge “echo” appeared on the SoCal radar but discovered it was not rain, instead it was a cloud of ladybugs!  The swarm showed up on the California weather service’s radar map as an 80-mile-wide mass.

This is a phenomenon known as a “bloom”.  Meteorologist Miguel Miller said the bloom appeared on their screen as an amazing 80-miles wide and 80-miles long.  It seems the mass was moving from the San Gabriel Mountains toward San Diego.

The mass of ladybugs was seen moving from Barstow in San Bernadino County, 80 miles south of Riverside which is near Los Angeles.  It literally covered an area over 1,000 square miles.

Meteorologist Mark Moede from the weather service said ladybugs were everywhere and a weather spotter in the San Bernadino Mountains reported an abnormal population of ladybugs which was then linked by the weather service to the sighting.

Bugs, not Clouds!

Casey Oswant, San Diego weather service meteorologist, told the Palm Springs Desert Sun there were a lot of clouds at the time along with this massive bloom.

She said the size of the mass could not have been created by the clouds.  She followed the patch that was heading south in the morning and then disappeared from the screen by noon.  It is not known for certain where the ladybugs were traveling from.

Senior scientist at James W. Cornett Ecological Consultant believes the number of ladybugs needed to create such a massive movement would have turned the skies dark.

Whether this event happened or not, we are all relieved to know they were ladybugs!  Legend has it, if a ladybug lands on your shoulder, you are blessed with luck! Imagine a swarm of ladybugs this massive, that must be luck for a lifetime!

The National Weather Service in San Diego said a huge “echo” appeared on the SoCal radar but discovered it was not rain, instead it was a cloud of ladybugs!  The swarm showed up on the California weather service’s radar map as an 80-mile-wide...