Justin - The Mars Habitat Builder Bot

Meet Justin, the Mars Habitat Building Bot created by the German space agency DLR.
This bot is being groomed to assist humans in building their home away from home on the Red Planet.

https://wired.com/story/this-ai-fortified-bot-will-build-the-first-homes-for-humans-on-mars/





Comments

  • 12 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Great concept, but I hope they will provide Justin with a better undercarriage. The vast number of pictures and videos from Mars shows the ground to be anything but a nice level, tiled floor.
    Florida, between St. Petersburg and the Gulf of Mexico

    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye...
  • Hal Albach wrote: »
    Great concept, but I hope they will provide Justin with a better undercarriage. The vast number of pictures and videos from Mars shows the ground to be anything but a nice level, tiled floor.

    If the history of human progress is any indication, they're more likely to just pave over vast sections of Mars to simplify the environment. :lol:
  • Very cool! I'll have to look at incorporating some of that spatio-temporal tactile sensor technology into my next plywood and relay robot, built out of a trash can. :)
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Too bad they didn't think of making a robot that helps humans on earth build their homes, what with 100 million people without a permanent roof.

    "Sexy" news stories aside, there is a LOT more money in building robotic machinery for earth-based automated construction, which should encourage the more forward-thinking groups to get involved.
  • Too bad they didn't think of making a robot that helps humans on earth build their homes, what with 100 million people without a permanent roof.

    "Sexy" news stories aside, there is a LOT more money in building robotic machinery for earth-based automated construction, which should encourage the more forward-thinking groups to get involved.

    Listening to Elon Musk speak, it seems one of his motivations for looking at populating Mars is that he feels Earth will one day be over crowded or non habitable by humans, thus Mars is the alternative.

    However, there are robots on earth that assist in construction.
    https://robotics.org/content-detail.cfm/Industrial-Robotics-Industry-Insights/Construction-Robots-and-Constructing-a-Robotics-Community/content_id/630

  • It's true automation is used for building construction. Pre-fabbed house parts commonly use large CNC and robotics. Or they automate on-site using traditional building materials, like that shown in your photo. Nice effort, but it isn't practical for the vast majority of places that require low-cost housing using in-place materials. The thing is, a robot that can construct in the middle of no where here on earth using found materials can do it on Mars, too. Why spend millions on researching a Mars construction worker when the same technology can work on earth, be put to immediate use, and which has instant commercial payback potential?

    I'm not a firm believer in moving to new digs just because I've trashed my current place. That's not a solution to anything, and cost is still the number one factor for any technological advance. It would be significantly cheaper to live under water here on earth than ship people to Mars, or even the moon. One thing we may have more of in the next 100 years is shallow oceanic shelves.
  • Well, Mr. McComb, you seem to be pretty passionate about the subject so perhaps you could write a book related to low-income housing building bots.

    Had I known posting something like the Justin bot would have led down a political route, I would have held off from it. But I suppose that is the risk of posting on this site. I shall not make that mistake again.
  • JonM,

    Don't despair. This is the least political site for engineering discussions I have ever seen on the net.

    Actually, reading Gordon's post again, I don't see anything political in there.


  • Jon, Nothing political intended. Please do keep posting interesting news articles and videos related to robotics and electronics. This is a discussion board, so people discuss things.

    It so happens I don't personally agree with spending money on speculative science when there are so many missed opportunities in developing robots that could improve human lives here on earth (care, rescue, assistive, rehabilitative, etc.). So I do tend to make comments about the waste of money and resources in these kinds of things. I'm sorry if the comments put you off.
  • On the other hand...

    Financing a bunch of smart minds to build such a robot may result in some useful developments that are applicable to Earth bound problems.

    I do hope we don't stop spending on "speculative science". That would be a return to the dark ages. Besides, compared to many other things we waste money on it's a drop in the ocean.

  • GordonMcCombGordonMcComb Posts: 3,224
    edited January 25 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Well, the problem with speculative science is that it tends to skip over the more present needs, using up money that could foster more innovation, generate a sustainable commercial infrastructure, and thus pay for further development. Is a robot that can function on Mars really that different from one that will work on Earth? Getting a robot to work there as a way to help those on Earth seems the backwards approach. A robot that builds cheap foam-concrete structures here on this planet would make its money back now, and would go a long way to fostering research for use anywhere.

    Earlier space exploration was paid for by raising the specter of national security, and only then did they work on the commercial aspect. And that commercial aspect has sustained the ability to keep working in space science. I don't know of anyone talking about colonizing Mars to beat the Russians and keep them from building nuclear space platforms. In order to keep the funding going, we need to keep working first and foremost on exploiting the present-day commercial aspects.

    Note that I'm not talking about projects like the Large Hadron Collider or James Webb Space Telescope. Humans need to keep exploring the mysteries of the universe, and no one knows when the next breakthrough will occur.

    This pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter, so this is all I'll say on the subject. I seem to have upset Jon with a contrarian view, and upsetting people isn't what I'm aiming to do.
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 20,220
    edited January 25 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Gordon,
    Well, the problem with speculative science is that it tends to skip over the more present needs, using up money that could foster more innovation,...
    In that statement lies the problem. If we only ever invested time, money, and effort into "present needs" we would still be perfecting ways to crack nuts with rocks.

    In a simple way I view it like this:

    In the modern capitalist world guys with the control of money sprinkle a some of it around into "start ups". They know full well that most of them are going to fall flat. But they also know some of them will be big hits. Problem is they have no idea at the time which is which.

    At another level we need to sprinkle some some money around for "speculative science". Stuff that is so far away from "start up" material that investors would be interested in.

    Neither you nor I can tell what is a worthwhile spend at this level.

    On the other hand I do draw the line at the "Solar Roadways" idea. http://www.solarroadways.com/







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