« StarTalk Radio

StarTalk Live: I, Robot (Part 1)

2013-11-16 | 🔗
From Mars to Europa, the human exploration of space is increasingly robotic. Laugh and learn about our mechanical marvels from Neil deGrasse Tyson, Eugene Mirman and their special guests at StarTalk Live.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Skip the commercials support star talk on patriarch to listen to every episode, commercial free. Welcome to start off your place in the universe where science and pop culture collide. Dartle begin right now to another evening of STAR talk live, it is by very great leisure, to bring on the host of star talk. Radio, ladies and gentlemen, now that grass tonight's topic. These robots yeah. So I want to bring out one of the world's experts and robotics in fact he's based in New York City. He is one of the co founders of
Can he be robotics? Why should you know that name because they make robotic tools? that fly on rovers, I've been to Mars, give a warm welcome. Stephen go around the show, wouldn't simply with just two people who know everything about robots, Mimi, to be inquisitive and make fun of their knowledge, so it is now my great. To bring onto comics, ladies and gentlemen from effect sexes totally biased, Cabal bow, room bill. Television Jason's today is so willing to start off with perhaps Famous space probe ever made, headlines in the last couple of weeks, Voyager one voyage origin was launched September. Fifth, nineteen, seventy seven, what special about it
is that it was launched with enough energy. To Korea around Jupiter and saddened by the time it exiting the solar system. It had enough speed to leave the solar system entirely and on doing so just recently it actually cross the border between our solar system The farthest object have ever sent anywhere. I hope it has its papers were so its power. He told him yeah you're. Looking at me like that, you have the wrong plutonium by the way. Was me This actually lab particle accelerator. Nineteen forty and was then element discovered after the cosmic object known as PLUTO was discovered and They named the element after PLUTO plan
The dwarf planet, but in the whole thing is that he ruins the careers of planets by the way, the two elements before plutonium on the periodic table are tunisia and uranium. So it's Uranus, Neptune included, so PLUTO got element named after a force, Hence the polluter hurt you as a child. What have you got a neighbor bore planet. You, one hundred Voyager, took advantage of a rare lime into the planet's, because when you want probe. You don't. For where you want to be. You want to aim for where the object,
we'll be when you get there. I get that's like MAGIC Johnson. The James Worthy magically hasn't got the path leading the fast break. You dont past, where he is young ass. We go and we're gonna, be there not even gonna, be there. So the Voyager mission took advantage of the gravitational fields of Jupiter Saturn to gain further energy. To get out of the solar system- and it took Macao is we got the best images of Saturn at the time of Jupiter is red spot of the moons of Jupiter. One of them is IO, which title. We talked by Jupiter and the surrounding means itself, which makes it part of the other. Racquetball you hit me. So it's warm up the ball, you squeeze it, and this keeps up the ball and also heats up planets whose Squeeze Loya Jirga, I'm sorry to say, we got good images- are volcanoes I'll, yet from voyagers tree Let me ask you something here: forger, there's nothing of mechanical. I really would you
reclassification think of it as a robot now you go reaches you not a planet, not a robot, next subjective. My way that the question of water, a robot is, is important. I think- and I think simple- this definition is that it's a programmable manipulator. Now I realize that that sounds more like a cross between a computer in my ex wife, I got your writing job his life, but if a machine doesn't do more than a few things is not really a robot. That's why the curiosity robot on Mars, we'll get we
Secondly, I know about it does many things and when it's a manipulation things I think that's what makes it a robot if it does sort of one things or a few of short classification of things, then it's an automated spacecraft. Ok, so you make things that manipulate things in the name of your company has robotics in it. But that's what robot I think. Do I mean we are you define robots to be that what you make in your company, it's everywhere to my toaster recording Shakespeare. I mean I'd like to think of everything that does a task you'd, otherwise have to do manually is, is a Coca cola machine that bottling, Machina Roebuck, I bet What the moving arm and can it make new choices or your seat of the moving arm. One is good. Ok, we we could debate. That I don't play Europeans from the nineteen twenties that can play a all different kinds of music on it and is a very complex mechanisms that a ghost that's a good. It is through those keys, just move yeah, because No, it's not a robot soils
That event about can do many different budget without only tool it and was a walk manipulate. That's a robust, well, sorry to complicate things. Ok! So then I want to talk to you about now signal to call it a robotic spacecraft he's condescendingly reason why any plutonium on board is plutonium is radioactive, gets hot and you take something the thermal electric couple or that we see In future, we gotta go eighty miles per hour, and here we gotta get there. I didn't you generate electricity from Europe from the power we do this. Why doesn't it use solar panels because it is so far away? The sun is no brighter than just a slightly writer little star in the night sky, its ineffective as an energy source. So Therefore, you gotta give it an energy source that it takes with it, and then you have your plutonium was running out of plutonium in the world.
Really you tell me, you can't make me authority of the Museum of natural history. We are your knowledge and right now, there's thirty six pounds of plutonium in the world. That's it that's it! Now we steal it. From terrorists. What does the dock have those plutonium? Wasn't it yea and so yeah we can get it in an even deeper Lloyd views, one source we know he's all it. You know he even million terrorists. There was a lot of protest when that plutonium showed up at Cape Canaveral to be launched into space, because these people consider that was dangerous and there was a lot preparations made for the protests we're gonna happen for the launch, and one person showed up for the party was a Swat team there to deal with it. You know what happened, and why is that? rapporteur. Lies in the hall, that's what I get for trying to stop the future progress that was in Florida. Was you blogger?
I was right to the other. I get him in that. There's a big Voyager, soda, culturally special. We knew An advance would leave the solar system and if anybody is going capture this after left a soul, system and try to ask questions It will be some intelligent aliens. So why not put messages on board that they could then decipher? Then? Maybe they could learn about us and included in that messaging is like the return address of where the solar system is in the galaxy. And at the time that really sounded like a good idea, but now you don't give you dressed to strangers of your own species.
Giving the aggressive you like the party so Voyager after Pass Neptune was instructed to warm task. They turned around look back to the inner solar system and photographed earth of self. The ice rather that it still has not lips. The moon is Bodo bombing if a whole. So this image led Carl Sagan to write a very famous book called the pale blue dot. And in it he waxes poetic about our presence in space He talks about as you stare upon this pale blue dot. Bear
earlier a pixel in the image. This is earth, something we're so accustomed to seeing with mountains and valleys and creators and ill and oceans and its big. It is not even a pixel in this image and he says the one you ve ever known, read about heard about lived after lives on that speck and all the wars that are fought over the temporary command of one plot of land. Versus another happened on this speck. We won who contributed to what we call history without their lives that dot and so it's humbling. It's the cosmic perspective There is a great indigo stream that'll make you feel that way that, like I've heard I heard you exactly also on this ship there's a golden record, its gold plated. This set of sounds murmurs from earth and we put together
sequence of them. Let me just I gotta crib she'd here. Like a romantic mix. Seedy like we got Livia Newton John Area knock, it does not count in a living and John hidden travel back at the centre of using this basis where it gets greetings and fifty five languages recorded on the sidewalk of the? U n people of all These languages came up and they recorded greetings native language. Literally it's been come to earth, say hello in fifty five languages, then murder the letter that fifty five nations will let their guard down, maybe more so to say hello. They must be friendly. Let's check it out, a junior in outer space, and this is what your hearing aid are. No humans are origin is protester highlighted at any cost. For US vetoes, elderly cement, feline s, Greek, Oh, I Homa took got white ping
keen Hong FILA, cantonese scrutiny a year on Ireland us to call for new regime. Yet if they asthma as a man, who is that All I salute us dollars salivating quickly, Estes Burnham. Divorce volume thought him. A ban was that I told him that I say that I very much we're assuming this is great going because you asked where you can escape said calmly hello from the children of planet earth.
Now is generally not separate Gama Sportsmen Associates cousin is embarrassing. I would love it doesn't get us. The guy was police academy. More scope, Michael, would lose me sincerely enemies, listen the Moscow who, at one time, the way in which we come down and when he went away- and maybe you didn't know about it- you're one of those who followed by a kiss.
It was a quick guess, yeah it just friends, by now, but I know about that, but I know about seventy seven. Finally, like I was so you might wonder, where's word you're going it will take for thousand years for it to come near the nearest star to it.
We really still haven't gone anywhere, comforting yeah. Towards a star in the Constellation Chemical PAR Dallas, camel apartheid. Is the giraffe of the The constellations one of them is the giraffe disappointed starts like science just making stuff its headed towards this place. Name. This thing: you don't know that its name that we ve unemployed here to meet a drop in outer space. It's gonna come within one point, six light years, overstartled greasy for forty five, so like highlights from Voyager. Robotic emissary that has gone far this week, Hornet robe just want to sell them even at an taping chuck buried with space ship is not necessarily a robot. S was invited, hey of Brazil, stop take through the Z s what it was by the way the aliens are given instructions on how to play this phonograph record.
How to make the needle and how do then retrieve the sound from it? We answer that's kind, o Connor Sally again, but one of the effect other cultures with american rose above the way it wasn't just reopening truck bury. It was music from all around the world. It was like aboriginal, music and mountain music, so these have been some debate about whether it really left the solar system, because earth grab extends beyond that. They haven't really fallen, to the next star. Yet so, if your gravity person, no, it hasn't left the solar system. Your gravity, This would have well you're, not a gravity person if you are you're having allowed. If you are planning a person, you would say left a solar system after crossed the orbit of Neptune it's just a matter how you want to define solar system we're just gonna. You d find anything to go by your take. Unlike the definition they used. The sun is losing mass every moment of every day. It is. We called the solar wind, its charged particles, extending out
though, isn't it where the solar wind heads? The other direction was the end of the Helios boss, someone goes out in every direction and It's going out and is appalling where the sun's feed the controls. What these particles are doing, because indistinguishable from the galactic magnetic field when you us out of us into them you will no longer be able to You use the particles as an enemy. Which way you came for me. That's all. You can't use solar particles to get back to earth if you have it to be far far deeper s face. You have to use some other cues, but not that there would be some.
It is likewise Rosa. Well, there's a sun right there. You, because you ll see you get your closest star to you, so you'd sledge Hammer Map store that doesn't work here. I we're done with Voyager when we come back more on robots. Robots on Mars have secret for you, I'm gonna consider singing all of the ads on this shell there's just one. And where to get out of hearing there, go to patriarch arms last star, talk and support, Where does at the five dollar level or higher to listen. The star talk ad Free You can download all current episodes into your favorite podcast player and never
we're here another commercial on star talk ever again, you will definitely not have to hear me saying if you support us at Patria, dark coms. Last our talk, radio, I mean I'm just thinking I mean just SAM Stop now, let's talk about the robots that Stephen Google, our robots pussy builds these we're gonna, say he might be right about. What's a robot, his robot knowledge, nothing worse than a nerd bully right now I've lost count. There are dozens of robots and telescopes orbiting the on their way to planets orbiting planets and base, Please it's humans, attacking the solar system and in particular there was a ticket yet the most press, or they want to go to Mars because Mars, If you didn't already know, has basically a twenty four
our day it has a tipped, access like earth Axis Mars, has polar, icecaps, Earth Mars has evidence of running water that had been their long ago so marked captures our imagination, like no other planet. And the most recent rover there is curiosity curiosity, beautiful is the size of an suv, every com created landing mechanisms. They couldn't land this one with airbags. Previous rovers were small enough, they use surrounded with airbags. It is drops out of the sky bounces the airbag safely, and it goes running on its way. This thing had Joyce, Rachel Rockets and drove suits and all manner of things to slow the damn thing down, so it could land safely and softly so that it can then conduct its task. Before this we had a pair of twin rovers. Spirit and opportunity. One of them is that launched ten years, one of them still going, which want to
Don't you ever to an opportunity? Three thousand five hundred days opportunity, those are much more rovers. Do we get information from it? What does it do? Absolutely? No! That's ranges disk payment. Curiosity descended. The atmosphere in six minutes of terror, of beautifully executed, wonderful engineering, achievement Justin the thing down on finally engineers have today in the sun. They just said we're gonna, just plop this thing now and to optimize the mass of the rover that way they didn't have to develop a lander and plus, if you drop it down, you can land with more precision. You can wait exactly where you want from the surrounding land, is about two and a half kilometers close to the centre of where we wanted to land two and a half climate, which is very, very good because of
but if you want a hundred million miles, yea others what I'm saying leg if I was like, I bet your house, but I do have loved her two way. You're really really are. But if I went to another planet they will ignore bad said Apple maps, we'll get. You know we lost the location of opportunity. We didn't everywhere landed and MIKE Mail and one of the members of the science deep suggested we spell out. What do we? is an mega, don't smell something yeah, We could see it from orbit. We have spacecraft going around. Did you do that now, because we found it we were out, have been so ran up, so you built a tool that was on Spirit, whispered, operative boss right, whether twin rovers, so no tools are identical, so we ve been raided, the rocks on Mars so that you could get below the surface of the rocks so that you reach, a virgin rock material which one the surface of the because this dust and
dirt on the rocks it just be. Looking at alien material has been blown around the planet. You want inside the rock to get a window into the history of the rock and are even climate alien wind swept windswept, braided! It means you're like grinding it. Basically, we grind into the rock with diamonds. What's an example of some of the things that you would get from grinding it we found a rocket goose, have crater where Spirit the first Rover landed, that was about Kanak Rock, but her veins in it, and these were minerals and we found other water deposited minerals. Sweet conclude, that they had to have been water at goose of in liquid form, in time in the past some time in the past and of course, life is usually associated on the earth. Would liquid water yeah? ways associated on earth yesterday. I've been gazelles on my our monitor for NASA and the Mars Exploration Programme is to follow the water. While the warder, you had an acronym, freer tool, what was called the that's our stiffer. What rock abrasion rock abroad
to have a job, maybe so the hearty long ago, how deepen ten millimetres? Typically, ok, to get together to get past what we call the rind of the rock and you have anything on curiosity. We have a similar tool and we also have a sample manipulation system, because samples now and in the curiosity, Rover, more science laboratory, Marcel ART, by the robot arm and deposited in a very sophisticated chemical laboratory where we can identify organic compounds that might so you reaching in scooping soil and putting it in this and cuttings from turning into Iraq. Ten millimetres, ten millimetres. So again, that's an answer, half an inch I've s eyes: centimeter is a million, is ten metres centimeter it's definitely ten millimeter twenty five years later it s all right, so so I think what you say this piece of paper is that a millimetre
no way less than a millimeter yeah. Ok, My baby? I get it right with these, they, okay, so twenty first radio ever two point five, four, so, Two metres is an inch exactly yes That is why I don't have a millimetres. Humming millimeter wanted his eyes when going I've war,
millimetres! Isn't it was a little less than half an inch, but there was enough to get a virgin rock. You lie in the emerging proof of the only thing I would say, that's not very deep summary far into the wrong road. Not my like fresh new is really that's when I say us crazy. I just ask them what I saw all we're stuck could have seeped in its rock it completely sallow. Ok, just you just cutting off. I think it's just. I got right. If you screwed up a fossil, you wouldn't even know there was life because was fossilized. Isn't that right you be grinding up the fossil and then analyzing ground, fossil and there's no life on Mars European.
A very good problem with these rovers, you know compared to send you design these. You you, I know about comparatively they'll, be nice he's against such a thing. We will come if you do not know where they would bear robots. If you had ascended fossils job at a geologist cinema, hobby desert in a helicopter, you get up and walk over well I rise of land and look at the most interesting rock in the distance. If you walk over to it, they take out, is rock hammering break it open and take out his loop and look at it? takes maybe a minute and a half, in the beginning with spirit opportunity. We could do the same thing, but it took us four days to do that, so you actually want to go there, Well, that means at robots do not approach the capability. Beings, taxes for days into something geologists appointed speed here, but you can analyze it there. You can't duplicate
we have brought a very sophisticated laboratory with more science laboratory march, more than sophisticated anything's brought to another plants, everybody before, but it still pails and come to a laboratory. So we have to do, is go to Mars, bring stepped back, that's right and that's what we're doing now. Let's go. What what are you doing it? Now? I may now I'm part of a group. That's already getting ready for the twenty twenty mission that will be Illuminati is someone did mission is the mission. Is this are funded mission and twenty twenty it's as close as it can be to a fundamental. I can tell you that there's money now for developing the conceptual designed for the twenty twenty mission, which will not only reduce design money. You live launch money and night now, but
You look very good evening. Seven million dollar kickstarter, where people get also a c b of sound terms about the twenty twenty Rover. If it happens- and I think it will, it will hire that it well, I prayed a will, it will develop. A probable cash to gather samples hampered by people on earth? That's right they will be like a tree. Our system on board the rover to pick the best sample, store them and come and get that cash. Yet another mission and another vision to private order from back to earth another mission to retrieve it oh well, then I have to get funding for that matter. To think about it, if you going too well, that's true, but if you're gonna return a sample from Mars, you have to bring a rocket to Mars yeah unless you converted what are the soils into rocket fuel and they build a rocket and send it back on that Neil Spoiler, so we're gonna robots out there, we ve got knew her
lessons mission, that's a mission to PLUTO by the way. Just so you know- and I doubt that ok who names these things new horizons, this massacre, retired zennor. Couldn't you David, like space laser fifty million ass, you have used to be called future of everything it used to be called the polluter Hyper Express, and that was happening right around the time of PLUTO was getting demoted and the people who are tooling. Spacecraft were worried that apply got promoted the PLUTO corporate. Press which somehow get its funding affected You got a whole fresh make over by signing a new horizons in peace. So NASA has a robot call Robin ought to do. You know about this Roma do and that robot tweets at Astro Robot and it's a robot that looks like a
to do what a human would do in a previously human design task now we say, looks like a human: do you mean like a little lower you and it's an anthropomorphic design? You would look at at least are looking like a moving mannequin of some kind. Yeah, because I can remember you would not be pulled at a restaurant, you wouldn't be like this friend Jack, enabling tax a robot, Sir I wouldn't say that if the prisoner does the robot me as a human, I would deal with it that way, because with this person's deal, is I don't want to judge people you I'll leave their, although the bathwater you'll never believe you shit unveiled at this table, but Celtics barely human? What is it you when you say human task? You may like to express what I want to clarify. So that's what all today's you'd make a robot and a robot in our mind, was something that looks human and then we realise we can make something better. Then a human to do specific tat. So why anchor
to the form of a human. Let us right, maybe maker human could crawl across our trust. Work on the space station should be more like a bug than human rights, human for example, and so might be some tasks that we do Kate, with human motion that we use this robot to do not form part of the idea or think is that, if the astronauts or on available, we need the robber not to use the tools at the astronauts use, so it would have to be a similar design. How long to whatever you has failures, s fingers and arms and alone, a fit to hatches and so on, and how long till it votes at lake ten years The amendment will be a three fifths rule regarding robots nodded. A black beard have reacted at heads.
What's your favorite robot is something other than your own rat. His own ran for your favorite spacecraft. I want to know what Robotic instinct is the favourite biologists they lead Zepplin banana, while I actually it's gonna sound terrible. But my favorite one of the russian spacecraft he's russian so you're gonna, my spacecraft go on which one sample returned was what we're trying to do on Mars. Is such a complicated thing for the upcoming rockets at the surface of Russians executed a sample return mission in nineteen, seventy, whose scared, the spacecraft. So much that it was like. If I may say tat, it made return samples three times from the moon with a completely automated, robotic device, and it just astounds. We hardly anybody knows about it, but it was a stupendous achievement. Israel and come back
saddle return means. Yes, No I mean I'm getting we hardly now. We have to send the alone Buzz together samples I sent an automatic spacecraft three times and it didn't. We never did it. No one's ever done it from our big plans. Everybody we set Ellen buys they sent a robot, they probably did it for less money. So We had the choice to send a robot or a person. What would you do too, which location? Oh, yes, hence the moon, ok, so Mars. Can we make the people do get somebody I don't like. I am all in favour of. Ultimately sending people to Mars and part of the curiosity. Rover is equipped with instrumentation. That is designed to look, for example, the amount of water that's available Mars, because it's important for the instruments when they get to MAR some day that they have What are available before not only for drinking but for power and energy,
We also need to know if the radiation levels arson. Above all, it is an instrument on curiosity that this constantly monitoring the radiation from the sun wings on anticlimactic radiation cosmic radiation is well. Could you the water. If you we found water on Mars, would you can drink? In fact, this is a finding of curiosities. Finding is that the water that was present at one point was probably quite drinkable one point: but now I mean it's not there now exists now my exists, there's a chance, there's the water, so in fact, when we know that this war and another finding, I think it was just released the day before yesterday that the contents of the rocks of the near surface holding a tremendous amount of water in them. Our saying be careful of the water and Mexico but drink the water on Mars by squeeze Iraq your mouth so speaking, of looking for water Jupiters Moons Europa has a of liquid water another.
These moons kept warm by the gravitational Stress that is not a small s question you said liquid water. I was right there with the authorities. I mean is that, because you were distinguished for icing and Ngos and water or gashes we're gosh. Ok, I gotta check that was not as modest question. I thought that was checking obviously call I'm trying to learn here as well as many colleagues. This is like for credit hours. Dear colleagues, I think now listen to this, so you're always kept warm on the inside is frozen on the outside. If we want to look for life in the ocean has been ocean for billions of years. We'd have to drill through maybe a half a mile, vice. That's right, can you drove through a haven't? You can use your peeps do there. We are among a few groups that are conducting research development projects where we are building a mall to try to dig through a kilometer vice he's a drill. What
Do how does a drills robot things it's a robot mall and it takes them things that its drilling down it throws up behind itself and keeps drilling that way, but you have to get rid of the cutting, so that eventually has to bring the cuttings up to the surface and keep going down and it may take months to do it. But there's technical reason what we see that can prevent it from happening. I request you said your team: how much nowadays, space exploration is distinguish between country like we're, seeing the Russians did this. Are you how international your collaborative yeah, I'm not sure exactly? What you're question means, however, always fill a space raised. I've ever had an italian friend, yes, ha ha ha ha friend, like you know like driving to the airport kind of France, not just someone like all you're having a dinner at your place here you gotta go. This guy's place makes amazing bread kind of friend no, while the cold war definitely spawned. Actually some amazing space races in robotic some, but these lunar missions, the Russians assent
countless missions to the moon right about we're automated and the two Mars, also intervene. They landed only once had ever been a Venus and that they took pictures on the surface of Venus and would have they dumbly either they don't know what that is. It still happen now see now after the cold war, the Russians have way scale back there of space exploration, but they have fabulous both were sending our astronauts on russian spacecraft space station because we will have a shop, but when you get back to Europa, there might be life there. You're driven a whole things. Look what I wanna labourers! Yes, agriculture! american or international. Well, on a technique their american, but the instrumentation their lives as a lot of international. A curiosity has instruments. Spain, Russia, France, so that's right! So when one is this, watch the reformation know you well the engine
problems are so titanic. Nasa is smart enough to know that this is going to take a good look forward. It don't use that we're titanic, Mr Fischer Airports, for unity of decades of research and development, and we are talking about digging a whole tens of millions of miles away with only a small amount of power and Did you set a half a mile deep? It's a really big achievement. We get me every hundreds of millions of Ottawa, hundreds of millions monsieur the outer planets thousands of miles away too, and there's no. What's really did not diagnosed solar power available out there, so you can have the ring nuclear power way more than one. I might these great Urien all this, but I'm not done with you. We're going to find out what robots are doing back here on earth, here. Listening to start off with you can listen, star talk, commercial free, joint start
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Transcript generated on 2020-01-25.