Latest Gianfranco Visentin Stories

ESA Tests Out Rover In Chile Desert
2012-06-19 04:45:40

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com A challenge that ESA set out to have an engineering team create a rover that could steer itself in a Martian desert has finally been met. After six months, engineers on the StarTiger team created a fully autonomous vehicle capable of charting its own course through Chile's Atacama Desert. “Their challenge was to demonstrate how a planetary rover — programmed with state-of-the-art software for autonomous navigation and making decisions —...

2008-10-27 12:10:00

The Teide volcanic peak on the island of Tenerife acted as a mock-up of the Moon landscape last week, with eight European student teams tuning, testing and driving their lunar rovers in preparation for a robotics competition that took place during the dark nights of last weekend. Roving on the Moon is not easy. Lunar robotic explorers have to travel in a vacuum, over rough and steep terrain covered by crust and dust. The Sun heats the rovers up to 110°C and, when driving into a...

2004-11-30 07:45:00

ESA -- A big advantage of space robots is that they need neither food nor drink and can support very inhospitable conditions. More important still, although expensive to design and produce, their loss is always preferable to that of an astronaut. At this month's ASTRA 2004 workshop robots designed in ESA's space research and technical centre in the Netherlands attracted much attention. "On Earth, robots regularly take over when it comes to repetitive tasks or when human health may be at risk....

Word of the Day
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.