Boudreaux - Extra Vehicular Activity Robotic Assistant
It seems that mankind has always sought the companionship of a faithful canine, particularly when venturing into unexplored lands. This is reflected in science fiction in In the Dr. Who TV series, one of the "companions" was a robot dog named K-9 (see below). In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, the mechanical hound was a favorite companion of firemen. In Isaac Asimov's 1953 serial novel The Caves of Steel, scientists were promoting a culture called "C/Fe", in which humans and robots would be partners. "C" is for carbon and "Fe" is for iron, the basis for the biochemistry of humans and robots respectively.
NASA will continue this partnership, in the form of a robotic rover (sorry about that) like Spirit and Opportunity of Mars exploration fame - Boudreaux, the robotic "dog" (Extra Vehicular Activity Robotic Assistant).
Boudreax the robotic dog (From Nature)
Recently put to the test in the Mars-like Utah desert, Boudreaux is programmed to follow astronauts on its own, planning a route for itself autonomously. It can carry tools, to reduce the burden on astronauts. Its stereovision cameras can relay pictures to a control center, making it the eyes of mission control.
"It's a lot of fun to watch when the test subjects realize how much the robot can do for them," says Kim Tyree, a robotics engineer from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, who works on the project. She says that the test subjects, mostly geology graduate students dressed in space suits, quickly begin to treat the robot just like a canine companion.
Dr. Who's K-9 (From Companions)
If you are interested in robotic dogs, don't miss DARPA's Big Dog, a companion for soldiers in the field that is intended to run on four legs (wheels don't do as well on uneven terrain). Thanks to Winchell Chung for the lead on this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/1/2004)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )
Related News Stories -
It's Time For Robots With Soft, Sensitive Skin
Sure, solid metal skin robots looked great once - like in science fiction movies of the 1920's.
Microscopic Robots On The March!
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
MOFLIN AI Robot - Yes You Can Have A Tribble
They're really no tribble at all!
Ford Uses Obedient Robot Dogs To Update Facilities Maps
'If he sent out two or three of the small tele-operated devices... [he] could see machinery and construction details in real time from both above and below.' - Niven and Pournelle, 1981.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...'
Bigrating Laser Beam-Riding Light Sail Is Self-Correcting
'That sail will be twenty thousand miles at the wide part.'
ISS Astronauts Test Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' Skin Serum
'Out in the New Moon, just ask for what you want...'
LG Wing Twisting Smartphone Might Be Fun
'A polycarbon screen unfurled...'
Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
'She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'
Will ATT Offer Ad-Subsidized Cellphone Service
'For long-distance calls the ratio of commercial to conversation was as high as 10 to 1...'
Gyro-X Self-Balancing Two-Wheeler Car
'Indeed, the gyrocar was a sight to make a man look twice.'
Beat Covid-19 With AIR By MicroClimate - At Last I Get My PAPR
More than just a bubble.
Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition OLED TV
The Look of Things To Come.
Metalenses Now Reconfigurable With Liquid Crystal
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension...'
'Alexa For Residential' A Landlord's Dream (Tenant's Nightmare?)
'...unseen mechanical entities... that are in our very midst. One of them following each of us.'
Gather Ye Moonrocks While Ye May
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite.'
InMotion V11 Electric Unicycle Gets Air (Video)
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...'
Rid Thyself Of Ads On The Newsbox
'Can't we scramble that commercial?'
A.I. Jesus Proclaims Machine Gospel
'... he crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth; inside he put a dime into the slot and dialed at random.'
Google's Remixed 'Your News Update' ala Heinlein, Clarke, Pohl
'Perhaps we had better use the soundtrack and let it hunt.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories