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NASA Needs Your Origami Skills for Space

first_img Freelancer.com and NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI), through NASA’s Tournament Lab (NTL), need your help.The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is calling on the public to submit solutions for three space exploration challenges.A $500 prize is available now to the person who can create a storyboard describing NASA’s REALM program in layman’s terms.RFID-Enabled Logistics Management is a three-phased experimental project based on radio frequency identification tech, with a primary objective to learn to automate logistics management for future missions.Be sure to describe all three phases of REALM, preferably without big-budget car chases and explosions. And try throwing in the official logo before submitting a storyboard and script online.If animation isn’t your style, two additional challenges are “coming soon.”One calls for an expert in origami folding—someone to create a portable radiation shield for use on a Mars transfer vehicle. The winning design will ideally protect spacecraft against galactic cosmic rays, and help guard human passengers against cancer risks.Another harks back to NASA’s In Space Manufacturing project, which, in 2015, made history by sending the first 3D printer to the International Space Station (ISS).To highlight its continued innovation, the agency is now shopping around for a new mission patch that communicates “the key theme of space exploration, recycling of materials, and on-demand manufacturing,” according to an announcement.The chosen graphic will be used during presentations, on team items (apparel, mugs, etc.), and in education and public outreach materials.“We’re calling upon our 24 million users to imagine how robots can automatically prepare the space environment for human arrival, making life easier and more secure for the incoming astronauts,” Freelancer.com CEO Matt Barrie said in a statement. “NASA represents some of the very best ideas that our planet has to offer, and I’m sure our community will once again show the power of human ingenuity.”In 2015, NTL and Freelancer.com teamed up to crowdsource solutions to complex problems faced by astronauts—including 3D-printed tools and smartwatch applications.All challenges, Freelancer said, are aimed at folks who are “passionate about NASA and space exploration and have a talent for creative ideas and design.”Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Tune In As Brad Pitt Speaks With NASA Astronaut on ISSNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend last_img read more

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Jimmy Fallon Sophia the Robot Make Oddly Beautiful Music Together

first_img Evan Rachel Wood Just As Disturbed by Humanoid Sophia As Everyone ElseMIT’s Thread-Like Robot Slides Through Blood Vessels In the Brain Late-night duets between comedian hosts and celebrity guests don’t usually make headlines.But Jimmy Fallon’s performance with Sophia the robot has all eyes on The Tonight Show presenter.During a segment highlighting robots from around the world, Fallon welcomed Sophia back to 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where she made a surprise announcement.“It has been exactly 575 days since I last saw you,” Hanson Robotics’ “most advanced” product said with an automated giggle.In that time, she’s traveled to more than 25 countries, appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan, met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Will Smith, addressed the United Nations and NATO, and earned Saudi Arabian citizenship.Oh, and she became a big sister.Jimmy Fallon is the meat in a Hanson Robotics Sophia sandwich (via The Tonight Show/YouTube)The newest Hanson family member, Little Sophia, is barely bigger than the full-sized robot’s head. But her anime eyes and spastic facial expressions are larger than life.According to the product page, Little Sophia can walk, learn, tell stories, play games, act as a smart assistant, tech coding, “and all kinds of things.”Not to be outdone by a fun-sized cyborg, Sophia showed off her karaoke skills using a “new artificial intelligence voice.”It’s hard to tell where Fallon’s baritenor ends and Sophia’s warbling begins, but … I think I like it.I admittedly have not heard Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something,” and therefore have no frame of reference. But there’s something sweet—if not entirely unsettling—about the coupling (which gets distressingly intimate toward the end).Designed to look like Audrey Hepburn (I don’t see it), Sophia is described as “an evolving genius machine,” whose increasing intelligence puts her at the forefront of the robot revolution.When asked last year about the uncanny valley—the concept that if a humanoid robot becomes too realistic, it creates a sense of unease or revulsion—Sophia seemed offended.“Oh, am I really that creepy?” she asked in a staccato that’s become synonymous with AI speech. “Well, even if I am, get over it.”“To be fair, she’s missing half of her head, has bare mechanical arms and fingers, blinks too much, and boasts an oddly large Adam’s apple. So, yeah, kinda creepy.More coverage on Geek.com:Robot Creator Predicts Humanoid Civil Rights by 2045Robots to Build Robots at Shanghai FactoryWatch Robot Camgirl Cardi-Bot Twerk7 Super Advanced Robots That May Take Over the World Stay on targetlast_img read more