The Roboticist Chronicles: The Difference Between Robots on Earth and Robots in Outer Space

 

Some things are challenging enough, but an extra element takes the degree of difficulty up several notches. That’s how it is for Josh Sooknanan, an aerospace engineer with NASA, who takes robots and puts them into space.

In addition to the already steep curve of working with robotics, Sooknanan also has to face things like delays in how long a robot takes to respond.

“Robots in general are hard. Anybody that is getting into robotics, the problem you’re getting into is always harder than you’ve scoped it to be,” he said. “That’s when the robot is in front of you on your lab bench. You put the robot 200 miles above your head orbiting the earth or, even more difficult, on the moon or on Mars or a probe doing deep-space research, and the delays are unbelievable.”

Dan Allford, president of Arc Specialties, is a friend of Sooknanan and noted there are different challenges he has to face in the industrial world.

“I think one of the biggest differences between your world and my world is gravity. I’ve got to work with this stuff called gravity and it’s 32 feet per second squared, and it’s pretty constant,” Allford said. “A lot of times when we have to design and build a robot, it’s because the loads exceed that of any available commercial robot, and that’s a gravity problem. You’re up in space and you don’t have to fool with gravity.”

Of course, while Allford has gravity, he also has more sources of power than simply the sun – and less delay between the time it takes to send a command to a robot and see it carried out.

The two friends, who race cars and mountain bikes when not talking shop about high-level robotics, come together on more things than they diverge on, with both eager mentors of high school students interested in robotics.

Both marveled at programs like the BEST Robotics team competition and U.S. First Robotics, which give kids like them who were obsessed both with science-fiction and tinkering with machines a year-round outlet to learn in a more structured environment.

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!

Twitter – @MarketScale
Facebook – facebook.com/marketscale
LinkedIn – linkedin.com/company/marketscale

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!

Latest

Full Circle Healthcare: Information Blocking, Interoperability, and Health Data
August 11, 2022
 As the world becomes more digital, there are certain protections in place to help ease the accessibility of health information for each patient. Speaking on the topic of information blocking, Nicki Read more
Tornado Chasers by Dynamic Attractions
How Technology has Empowered the Theme Park and Attractions Industry with Michael Carroll of Dynamic Attractions
August 11, 2022
Watch below as Michael Carroll of Dynamic Attractions joins Pro AV Today host Ben Thomas to discuss some of the ways that technology is empowering and enabling the modern attractions Read more
The Most Important Challenges Faced by the Hotel Industry
August 11, 2022
One of the most affected industries drastically changed by the COVID-19 pandemic is the hospitality industry. While the lifting of restrictions has helped the industry bounce back in some ways, there Read more