Almost every week in the world of high technology information about the achievements of scientists in robotics. This week was no exception, but this time the news is a bit ominous.
Why does time fly faster with age than in childhood?
In the course of maturation, almost every personthere is a feeling that the passage of time is greatly accelerating - it would seem that he had only recently woken up, and it was already time to go to bed. For many years, scientists have tried to identify the cause of this phenomenon, and a new hypothesis put forward by Duke University researchers seems to be the most realistic. It states that the sensation of accelerated time is associated with changes in the work of the aging brain, namely, in the speed of information processing and the number of visual images obtained.
Earlier it was already known that changes in sensationof time are connected with the fact that an adult person pays less attention to surrounding events due to the fact that they are already familiar to him - time passes quickly for him. Children, in turn, are interested in all events, and their brain processes much more information - accordingly, as if time flows much slower for them.
A group of scientists led by Professor AdrianBejana decided to dig deeper and found out that children receive much more visual information than adults do. They proved this by comparing the frequency of eye movements of people of different years. It turned out that the eyes of children "run" very often, and their young minds process large volumes of visual data, and very quickly.
Slow data processing in adultsdue to the fact that over the years the plexus of neurons in their brain becomes more complex and longer. Consequently, the passage of signals takes longer than before. Thus, it may seem to people that their childhood up to 10 years lasted extremely long, while adulthood is moving at lightning speed.
Particle robots are capable of much
Most robots perform tasks alone,but researchers from the institutions of Massachusetts, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell presented the so-called "robot-particles", which are able to act only in a team. Each of the tiny robots is a round mechanism that is able to connect with its own kind using magnets. Acting together, they can form a "swarm" that takes a variety of forms, depending on the task. For example, robots can move to a light source and push objects, without any problems passing through any aisles.
The only movement that can make"Particles" - is to compress and unclench in diameter from 15 to 23 centimeters. To do this, they use the built-in motor, batteries and a microcontroller, which is responsible for the frequency of movements. To feel the light source, each robot is equipped with a light sensor, and to communicate with the operator - a device for receiving commands.
One robot alone is almost useless, butonce they join the group, they can move and move objects. A group can consist of an infinite number of devices and have any shape. For example, a cluster may look arcuate and push an object, or line up to go through a narrow passage. Robots do not rely on each other directly, so one broken "particle" does not interfere with the movement and work of the whole group.
The performance of a group of 24 robots wasproved during the experiment, where they successfully moved to the light source and pushed the subject. Computer modeling has shown that a group of 10,000 robots has the same efficiency - it continues to work, even if 20% of devices have failed.
In the future, the researchers intend to simplifythe design of robots and reduce their size. In this way, they want to create groups of millions of “particles” who can perform much more complex actions than they do now.
The transfer of the first flight of the spacecraft Boeing CST-100 Starliner
Manned spacecraft developerCST-100 Starliner company Boeing postponed its first test launch to the International Space Station (ISS) for three months. According to the Reuters news agency, referring to sources close to this project, the manned test flight of the spacecraft with the crew has been shifted for the same period.
According to earlier information it became knownthat the first test flight originally planned for March was postponed to the end of April. In this case, the schedule of the first flight of the ship with the crew at that time was left unchanged - it was scheduled for August 27, 2019.
Now it became known that the first flightCST-100 Starliner in unmanned mode will be held on August 17. The same information is reported by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, referring to a source in the Russian space industry, with whom American colleagues shared their launch news.
“The American side notified the Russian side thatthe launch of the unmanned ship Starliner has been postponed until August 17 due to the problems encountered during the ground tests of the ship, ”the news agency quoted the source as saying.
The source also added that as a result of the transferThe first test flight in unmanned mode is now also postponed from August to a later date, the start of the Starliner spacecraft to the ISS in manned mode.
Earlier it also became known who shouldfly to the ISS in August. On board the CST-100 Starliner will be a crew of NASA astronauts Michael Fink and Nicole Aunapu Mann, as well as astronaut of Boeing company Christopher Ferguson.
Since the closure of the program of space shuttlesthe United States was not able to deliver its astronauts to the ISS and return them back. For this, America used the services of the Russian Roskosmos and the Soyuz ships. New spacecraft for manned flights under contracts with NASA were developed by private US companies SpaceX and Boeing. The first test launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft from SpaceX to the ISS took place on March 2. The flight took place in unmanned mode. Having docked in automatic mode with the ISS a day later, the device spent 6 days in orbit, after which, on March 8, it returned back to Earth, descending by parachute and splashing in the Atlantic Ocean. According to current plans, the second test launch of Crew Dragon is scheduled to take place in July, but with the crew on board. The first to go to the ISS on a private spacecraft will be NASA veteran astronauts Bob Benken and Doug Hurley. After that, NASA must decide on Crew Dragon certification for regular flights.
For insurance in case of unavailability of spacespaceX and Boeing, aeronautical agency NASA announced the desire to book a few more places on the Russian Soyuz in the period from 2019 to 2020. A few days earlier, the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, on his Twitter page confirmed Roskosom’s readiness to help American partners in this matter.
We are ready to insure American partners inthe case of a delay in the test of their new manned ships We agree with the proposal of @NASA in the future to use both American (after their qualification) and Russian ships to deliver mixed international crews to the ISS. https://t.co/D3i28DKmSh
- Dmitry Rogozin (@Rogozin) March 18, 2019</ p>
Scientists are close to creating a liquid "Terminator"
Surely, when watching the movie "Terminator 2: Doomsday ”, almost every spectator was delighted with cyborg T-1000 from liquid metal. At the moment, the creation of such a robot, of course, is impossible, but scientists are slowly moving towards this goal. For example, researchers from the American chemical community have managed to create a liquid metal that can be controlled with a magnetic field. This can be considered a small, but extremely important step, because this is the first time that the material has been moved not only horizontally, but also vertically.
If liquid robots are created in the future, thenthey will surely be made from gallium or other metals that melt at room temperature. In addition to this property, they have other features like high conductivity and infinite flexibility. Liquid metal can be moved with the help of magnets - as long as nickel or iron particles are added to the alloy.
Unfortunately, due to the high surfacetension, magnetized liquid metal could be moved only horizontally and only inside any liquid. But researchers have found a way to even move them vertically. They reduced the tension, creating a liquid alloy of gallium, iron, indium and tin - when immersed in hydrochloric acid, a layer of gallium oxide was formed on the surface of the material, which affected the surface tension.
By putting a magnet in opposite sides,The researchers have ensured that the material stretched vertically. This means that they can move even in three-dimensional space, and not just in the plane, as before. The new alloy is not yet ready for use in liquid robots - before that scientists are still far away. However, a new discovery, at least a little, brought scientists closer to creating a new type of robot.
What do you think, in what year humanitywill create a liquid robot? Did the cyborg T-1000 from the second Terminator impress you? You can write your guess and answer in the comments, or in our Telegram-chat.