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Posts Tagged ‘teleology

Astronaut and Robonaut shake hands on the ISS

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History is full of famous handshakes that symbolize a permanent change in the status quo. The 1945 Roosevelt-Churchill-Stalin triple handshake. The 1961 Kennedy-Khrushchev handshake. The 1972 Nixon-Mao handshake. The 1993 Rabin-Arafat handshake. The 2012 Burbank-R2 handshake? This historic clasping took place on February 15, 2012, when NASAs Robonaut 2 nicknamed R2 humanoid robot greeted Commander Dan Burbank aboard the International Space Station ISS in the first “man-machine” handshake in space.View allNASA has been developing humanoid robots for use in space for some 15 years. The key design goal was to develop a robot which could assist astronauts with tasks that are either too dangerous for people or too routine to waste the time of a highly trained astronaut the cost of having an astronaut in space is roughly US$25 per second. It was decided that the most appropriate design for a robotic helper that can use the same tools as do the astronauts was humanoid.Preceded by the Robonaut 1 technology demonstrator, Robonaut 2 nicknamed R2 was revealed in 2010. R2 was originally intended to be another technology demonstrator. However, when it was shown to mission managers, it performed so well they decided R2 was ready for prime time, and was delivered to the ISS early in 2011.

Carry on via Astronaut and Robonaut shake hands on the ISS.

Written by Kees Winkel

February 21, 2012 at 11:22

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Fascinating

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Fascinating. I have started following a course at the University of Utrecht. This Monday morning, I found myself in a hugh auditorium with my colleague Jelke de Boer and some 430 other students. Apart from Jelke and me, I recon the average age was somewhere round 20. “Fascinating”, I found myself thinking in a rather Mr. Spock-like fashion as I really tried to make absolute sense of what I was doing there and how it happened of me actually sitting in that big dark hall with assistant professor Mirko Tobias Schäfer explaining the differences between McLuhan and Williams, ergo, the perhaps philosophical or at least academic dispute on issues of Technological Determinism and Social Constructivism. Fascinating.

It was Rogier Brussee who attended me on Mr. Spock’s slightly irritating announcements – ‘fascinating’ –  when finding something unknown to this great all-knower in that spaceship with Kirk, Scotty an god knows what the name of that doctor was (I can’t even remember the name of the computer they talked to as if it was Hal. It is fascinating what people know about early days entertainment shows that are now the archetypes for today’s teleological discourse and I was silly enough to just enjoy the show without considering the future relevance of it all).

Back to the auditorium this morning. Professor Schäfer has taught me (at least) one important and all too relevant lesson; do not get caught in the hyping rhetoric. Fascinating.

Apropos. Maybe you are as excited to learn about our students and the Media and Museum Battle as I am. Check out the feeds on mediabattle.ning.com. Fascinating.

 

Written by Kees Winkel

February 6, 2012 at 18:36

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