NASA’s Perseverance Rover Nails Autopilot, Agility Robotics Builds Factory for Humanoid Robots, and More

NASA’s Perseverance rover recently completed a record-breaking drive across Jezero crater using its autopilot system, AutoNav. The rover’s cameras and sensors allowed it to navigate through a field of boulders with ease. While the six-sol journey might not be impressive for a robo-taxi on Earth, it demonstrates the capabilities of self-driving technology in a challenging environment. The success of Perseverance’s autonomous navigation raises the question of whether similar technology can be applied to self-driving vehicles on Earth.

In the realm of humanoid robots, Agility Robotics is creating a factory capable of producing 10,000 Digit humanoid robots per year. Despite its creepy backward knees, Digit is designed to work alongside humans, carrying loads and operating for long hours. The market for 10,000 Digits per year might initially seem uncertain, but the advantages of having robots that don’t require sick leave or unionize could make them valuable assets in various industries. This move highlights the growing interest in exploring human-like body plans for robotics.

A fascinating visualization of the objects in the universe was shared on the r/DataIsBeautiful subreddit. The log-log graph showcases the relationship between an object’s physical radius and its mass, ranging from subatomic particles to galactic superclusters. The chart includes regions where our understanding of physics breaks down, humorously referred to as “unphysical regions.” Along the chart, we find the smallest possible object, an “instanton,” and the Hubble radius, raising the possibility that our universe is a black hole.

US-based readers should be aware of the nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) scheduled for October 4. This test will cause various devices to emit alerts to ensure the functionality of emergency communication systems.

Turning to amateur radio news, Oscar Norris (W4OXH) celebrated his 106th birthday this week, making him the oldest US amateur radio operator. With over 70 years of active involvement in ham radio, Norris continues to hold a valid license until 2028. Cliff Kayhart (W4KKP), the oldest known US ham, reached the age of 109 before passing away in 2020.

For welding enthusiasts, TimWelds shared captivating slow-motion shots of welding processes. Using a Chronos camera and specialized lighting, the videos showcase TIG, MIG, and stick welding techniques in various metals. The detailed footage provides insights into the dynamics of the molten weld pool, allowing viewers to understand the intricacies of the welding process.

– “NASA’s Perseverance Rover Completes Record-Breaking Drive on Mars” (Source: NASA)
– “Agility Robotics: ‘Factory of the Future'” (Source: IEEE Spectrum)
– “A Visualization of All Objects in Our Universe” (Source: r/DataIsBeautiful)
– “Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts Rescheduled to October 4, 2021” (Source: Federal Communications Commission)
– “Oldest US Radio Amateur, Cliff Kamradt W4KKP, SK” (Source: ARRL)
– “106-year-old Oscar Norris amateur radio operator” (Source: Southgate Amateur Radio News)
– “Super Slo-Mo of Welding” (Source: Hackaday)