Rappelling NASA rover could split in two to explore Mars’ deep craters

NASA JPL took the DuAxel out for a test run in the Mojave Desert.


NASA/JPL-Caltech/J.D. Gammell

NASA’s car-size Mars rovers are awesome, versatile machines capable of traversing rugged terrain. But they’re not made to descend down the sides of craters. For that, NASA would need something like its DuAxel prototype rover, a wild concept that is two rovers in one.

When all together, DuAxel is a four-wheeled rover. The rear can anchor itself to the ground while the front goes free on two wheels. A tether holds the pieces together while the front section rappels down a steep slope. This could work well for exploring currently inaccessible crater walls on Mars.

NASA put a DuAxel prototype through its paces in the Mojave Desert in California. “DuAxel performed extremely well in the field, successfully demonstrating its

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Watch a Spot robot from Boston Dynamics explore an old mine

The ground is rocky and uneven. Old, rusted rails that used to carry loads of precious metals run the length of the path. Most wheeled robots would have trouble navigating this uneven surface, but it’s not a problem for Spot.

“This is one of the most advanced robots in the world.” Hao Zhang tells me. He’s a professor at the Colorado School of Mines, and he’s brought his department’s new robotic dog from Boston Dynamics to the Edgar Mine outside of Denver for testing. The school is one of the first customers to buy a Spot robot since the four-legged machines went on sale this summer.

Spot robot in Edgar Mine

A handler guides Spot the robotic dog with a proprietary tablet controller.


Agata Bogucka

Much of Zhang’s work in robotics involves exploring ways robots can take over dangerous jobs from people, like searching for survivors in a collapsed mine or inspecting nuclear facilities

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GeekWire Summit- Explore the future at this 2020 virtual tech conference!

Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

SEATTLE, Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The 2020 GeekWire Summit, presented by Bank of America, brings together the brightest minds in technology, business, science and entrepreneurship for engaging conversations about the future. In its 9th year, the GeekWire Summit has transitioned into a fully virtual experience taking place over three-weeks featuring deep dives into areas such as privacy, AI, health tech, travel, politics, and much more.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 13-29, we are convening some of the planet’s top thinkers in areas such as travel, education, health, politics, vaccines, venture capital and much more. The Summit event platform encourages networking and attendee engagement.

Agenda highlights include fireside chats with Bill Gates, Gates Foundation Co-chair, Peter Kern, Expedia Group CEO, and Panos Panay, Microsoft Chief Product Officer. Regence BlueShield’s

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UK companies explore Agri-tech opportunities in Costa Rica

The Department for International Trade (DIT) organised a virtual workshop to explore opportunities in Agricultural Technology in Costa Rica last week alongside the British-Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce and the Costa Rican Chamber of Agriculture.

The event, “Costa Rica: Opportunities in Agri-Tech” offered an exclusive opportunity for participants to learn about Costa Rica’s current initiatives to increase the productivity of the agriculture and fisheries sectors, and the specific opportunities available for UK companies. British Ambassador to Costa Rica, Ross Denny, welcomed participants to the workshop, highlighting that:

The UK has one of the most highly regarded agricultural technology sectors in the world. Its fully integrated agricultural supply chain, combined with world-class scientific advances and the country’s natural vibrant business environment, make it an excellent match for Costa Rica’s growing Agritech sector. The UK has pioneered new approaches to farming in areas such as animal science, plant genetics and reproduction, as

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Explore over 100 virtual events at the 10th annual Wisconsin Science Festival

From the novel coronavirus to food sciences, the 2020 Wisconsin Science Festival, held Oct. 15-18, will feature more than 100 virtual events — with a few opportunities to get out (safely) with others.

Activities will include hands-on science experiments, live Q&A with scientists, demonstrations, performances, podcasts, behind-the-scenes tours and more — along with some up-to-the-minute information about what researchers in Wisconsin are learning about COVID-19.

Most venues across the state are offering online or at-home events. Teachers and school districts are encouraged to preregister to participate in virtual field trip live sessions with scientists covering a wide variety of topics, including learning how geologists excavate a dinosaur bone, how microscopists detect cancer cells, how material scientists can help you create a simple device at home to make electricity, what it’s like to actually be a scientist, and more.

“Making science accessible and understandable is critically important, especially now, given the

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NTT Research and University of Notre Dame Collaborate to Explore Continuous-Time Analog Computing

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NTT Research, Inc., a division of NTT (TYO:9432), today announced that it has reached an agreement with the University of Notre Dame to conduct joint research between its Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab and the University’s Department of Physics. The five-year agreement covers research to be undertaken by Dr. Zoltán Toroczkai, a professor of theoretical physics, on the limits of continuous-time analog computing. Because the Coherent Ising Machine (CIM), an optical device that is key to the PHI Lab’s research agenda, exhibits characteristics related to those of analog computers, one purpose of this project is to explore avenues for improving CIM performance.

The three primary fields of the PHI Lab include quantum-to-classical crossover physics, neural networks and optical parametric oscillators. The work with Dr. Toroczkai addresses an opportunity for tradeoffs in the classical domain between analog computing performance and controllable variables with arbitrarily high precision.

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Where to next in the outer solar system? Scientists have big ideas to explore icy moons and more.

If you had a few billion dollars and some of the most talented space scientists and engineers in the world, where would you go?

There’s no wrong answer, really. Even if you narrow it down to just the outer solar system — planets, moons, rings and other cosmic rubble — you’ll never get bored. But that abundance of solar system destinations has downsides, of course, since there’s little chance of ever flying all the missions scientists can dream of. But dreaming up those missions anyway is a vital piece of space exploration, and one that scientists do regularly.

During a recent virtual meeting of the Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG), a science advisory group focused on everything past the asteroid belt, scientists walked the audience through three different mission concept studies that were commissioned to inform the Planetary Science Decadal Survey, which will guide NASA programs between 2023 and

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ASMPT total power solution to explore the future of new generation WBG power devices

ASMPT total power solution to explore the future of new generation WBG power devices

Power semiconductor plays a very important role for all electronics ranging from smartphone, home appliances, health care equipment, computer, networking, data center, automotive, power train etc. Si, GaAs, InP and other materials of the 1st and 2nd generation semiconductors are widely applied in the market. Today, these technologies become very mature in general switches, Si MOSFET, IGBT, Power Amp, RF devices. However, every technology will face its limitation.

Wide Band Gap (WBG) material like SiC, GaN provides extra performance:
– Higher current density
– Wider operating temperature range
– Faster switching performance
– Lower RdsON (on resistance)
– Less switching losses at high frequencies operation

These SiC, GaN will become more popular and outperform Si in the coming new era.

However the new materials of WBG device give different response & requirement during assembly manufacturing, thus

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Meet Calypso, a daredevil mission concept to explore the surface of Venus

Of all the rocky, inner worlds of the solar system, Venus is the most challenging to explore. 

With surface temperatures reaching a bewildering 867 degrees Fahrenheit (464 degrees Celsius), even the most hardened landers can’t survive for long. But a new idea, called the Calypso Venus Scout, calls for a bold new mission design: a science probe dangling 20 miles (32 kilometers) below a cloud-borne balloon. 

Welcome to hell

Because Venus is only slightly smaller than our own planet, it’s taken up the nickname of the “Earth’s twin.” But if Venus really is a twin of the Earth, it’s the evil kind. Despite their similar sizes, the two worlds couldn’t be more different. While Earth maintains a balmy climate, with a decent atmosphere keeping the lid on vast expanses of liquid water oceans, Venus is a nightmare world. 

Related: Venus, once billed as Earth’s twin, is a hothouse (and

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