It is the beginning...
... of the Teclafane.
In further Star Wars-themed international space station (ISS) news, it has emerged that not only is the orbiting space base soon to be equipped with a robot named "R2", but that its complement of small, spherical hoverdroids - not unlike those famously used by Luke Skywalker aboard the Millennium Falcon for light-sabre sparring …
... of the Teclafane.
Oops, I meant Toclafane
> ... to include a high-level programming language designed to let "non-specialists (eg high school students)" write useful "complex cluster flight algorithms" ...
Umm, bunches of reckless, show-off teenagers are bad enough at driving around on the ground. (I remember being one myself, on occasion, before I decided that I didn't like paying The Man to have fun...)
Now DARPA wants to hand these kids the keys to drive droids in space?
Hope DARPA's got good liability insurance; repairs to the ISS are **expensive**...
Useless, this device is.
From the photos, one can see that there are two squares on the front and back, and four rectangles around the sides. I was wondering if the shape was only slightly distorted from an Archimedian solid, but after checking, it turns out that there is no way to turn their hexagonal faces into regular hexagons.
That's because it isn't a truncated octahedron; it has twelve hexagonal faces, being a (somewhat distorted) truncated rhombic dodecahedron.
That's what I thought a Personal Digital Assistant was, way before Palm(tm) came around. Put a nice monotonic voice in it, load it with your chores and your favorite songs, and have your personal DJ chasing you around reminding what you should do, provided it can´t do stuff for you.
Some people use their moms and a MP3 player to do it, but the monotonic voice is so less annoying. Plus you can tell it to shut up for 5 minutes or such, and not get bitch-slaped or scolded.
Load it with your SIM card and you are done with cell phones too.
"...be able to pass power to one another ..."
After the feeding cycle, comes the breeding cycle. This is all a big mistake.
Why on earth would you use CO2 to propel them?
Aisde from the need to carry pressurised cylinders around with the need for high pressure seals etc, now the ISS carbon scrubbers have to clean the air of the bots "exhaust fumes" to keep it breathable. I would have thought something like electrically powered gyroscope precession would have been far more sensible.
you can't navigate in space with just a gyroscope. you need to blow matter out to give your craft momentum one way or another, because overall momentum is conserved you have to emit stuff one way to propel yourself in the opposite direction. personally I blame Isaac Newton for this miserable circumstance.
They're not very large, and they're in constant freefall. They won't need a lot of gas to get the necessary delta-vee to move about (or stop!). I don't think the scrubbers would be working that much harder with these little fellas scooting around.
Anyway, let's see what the locomotive effector EM-field system brings. That said, optical navigation could only be a step away from optical target acquisition...
So what do you suggest? Nitrogen to decrease the relative O2 content of the craft's atmosphere and enhance the chance of the "bends" upon re-entry? Oxygen to make the atmosphere even more "explosive". You might want to research the Apollo accident involving a high O2 atmosphere. Maybe you'd prefer some inert gas which would also decrease the atmosphere's relative O2 content.
Nooooo .... CO2 is the choice. It can be, and is being, scrubbed with existing technology which makes it easily manageable. Oh, and btw, your brain has a small part (Medulla Oblongata maybe) which senses blood level CO2 in order to regulate heart rate. As the level goes up, heart rate will increase to compensate. As blood CO2 level drops, heart rate slows. Zero CO2 level = zero heart rate ... taken to the extreme of course.
Maybe the little CO2 cartridges actually help maintain a healthy heart rate in the astronauts. Dunno, but I'm betting the scientists might have a bit of a lead over you on understanding the situation.
We're gonna have Replicators on our hands at this rate.
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!
Just me that thought something completely different when I read 'ballbot' then?
Paris, celebrity ballbot...
when you wire two batteries together without any resistor, you get current flowing so fast the batteries heat up and end up melting.
So what's to bet that this "power exchange" thingy will end up in two lumps of very hot metal floating in the ISS ?
Suddenly that doesn't sound so funny.
"known as SPHERES units (Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage, and Reorient Experimental Satellite)"
Wow, what were the chances that they managed to create something with an acronym so suited to their physical appearance? Imagine how unlucky they could have been if they had instead created Synchronized, Hold, Inertia, Test Satellites?
Per the itinerant geometrician's post further up, they're needing a name that fits a:
Good luck with that ... I couldn't even be arsed to re-type it all in caps.
this woman thingy you were on about. Got any pictures?
It won't be long before we're having to deploy cuboid counterparts to bring these evil sphere droids under control, you mark my words.
Oh, is that how you youngsters are calling it these days? *snigger*
PH of course
The Terrahawk droids become reality!
our "ballbot" masters.