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Robot Assistant Deployed at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant

Posted on 21 March 2011 by yizhan

A robot named Monirobo (Monitor robot) was deployed in Fukushima nuclear plant in japan. What does this robots do?  Well it was said to help workers at the nuclear power plant  in monitoring the radiation level. The 5-foot, 1,300-pound Monirobo has a robotic arm for collecting samples and moving obstacles, and it drives using a pair of treads. It is designed to go where humans can’t, using a radiation detector, four video cameras with 3-D capability, and temperature and humidity sensors. The  robots  was developed by Japan’s Nuclear Safety Technology Center in association with the Ministry of Economy.

The robot has two version, the red and yellow.  The red was design to detect radiation level while the yellow has different functionality. The yellow one is designed to collect dust samples and monitor flammable gas.

Its good to know that finally Japan is starting to move up and using all their technology to recover from the earthquake that brought disaster to their people.


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100-Years Starship… What is ist?

Posted on 27 October 2010 by yizhan

Read in The Week today that  NASA Ames and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)  just started a project called the ” Hundred Year Star ship ” .  With $1 million funding from DARPA and $100K This project is designed to take astronaut a one way trip to Mars or to another planets.  So what is this project really is? what do they mean by the term “one way trip” .  Evan Dashevsky at GearLog mention that space is “annoyingly, impractically huge” and it will took a long time for us to travel, assuming that the nearest planet to earth is 24 million miles away.   ” Also, it will cost a lot less, since the major expense of any plan to travel to other worlds is bringing the astronauts home, say geologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch and physicist Paul Davies in the Journal of Cosmology.

Now, who would volunteer for this kind of task?  Rebecca Boyle in Popular Science, noted that price tag does not include the inestimable cost of saying goodbye forever,”  “It would really be little different from the first white settlers of the North American continent, who left Europe with little expectation of return,” says Davies.

NASA is looking at electric and ground-based microwave thermal propulsion systems to boost the ship into space, rather than using heavy rocket fuel.  This will cost less in achieving this mission.

“Within a few years we will see the first true prototype of a spaceship that will take us between worlds,” he says. “I think we’ll be on the moons of Mars by 2030 or so.”

Microwave thermal propulsion

Microwave thermal propulsion (Kevin Parkin)

The microwave thermal thruster using beamed propulsion is an excellent idea,” said Dr. Narayanan M. Komerath, a professor at Georgia Tech College of Engineering and a NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts Fellow. “[Kevin Parkin] picks the 140 GHz window, which apparently offers strong advantages in absorption by the materials that he uses in the propulsion system.

Well I think they should also try this technology in commercial  flight. It would be cheaper and will benefits us all including our environment. Less carbon emission means less pollution…. What do you think?

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Basic Principles of a Camera

Posted on 18 April 2010 by yizhan

Camera, a device used in photography.  All Camera has four fundamental parts:  The body, a light-tight box that  serves as a rigid framework on which all other parts are mounted and also serve to protect the film from exposure to light, except in the process of taking the photograph.  The body is mostly composed of hard plastic and light metal.

Next is  the lens , which is the one responsible for gathering image.  It is mounted in front of the camera body focusing the rays of the light from the object.  In some camera lens, it is in a form of a plastic or glass and in more elaborate camera, its lens is consist of several piece of glass mounted in a cylinder called the lens barrel.  The lens has its light gathering power and it is indicated by the f-numbers or relative aperture, which is usually marked on the lens barrel.  Lenses with low f-numbers have relatively high light-gathering power and are called the fast lenses, while lens with high f-numbers have low light-gathering power and called the slow lenses.   The light-gathering power of most camera lenses are controlled by means of a diaphragm.  In many cameras the amount of light thats strikes the film can be controlled by opening or closing the diaphragm.  The diaphragm resembles the iris of an eye.  When the diaphragm is widely open, it allows a maximum light to pass into it.  When partially closed, it reduces the amount of light that pass into it.  Since closing the diaphragm reduces the light-gathering power of the lens, it has the effect of slowing the lens and thus increasing its f-number.

The Shutter, it is usually mounted behind the lens or between the elements of a complex lens.  Shutter that are mounted lens elements are called between-the-lens shutter while those mounted immediately in front of the film are called focal-plane shutter.  Most shutter incorporate a timing mechanism that makes it possible to vary the length of an exposure.  When set at a high speed such as 1/500 of a second, the shutter admits relatively little light.  For a low speed of 1/5 of a second, the shutter is open 100 times as long and admits about 100 times as much light.   High shutter speed are particularly useful for producing picture of sharp moving objects.

And finally the Film Holder. It holds the film in place at the back of the camera.  It is design to hold the film flat so that the image produced by the lens will be sharp over the whole picture area.  In most roll-film cameras the film compartment is place in to the back of the camera and a spring mounted pressure plate place in the back cover of the camera this pressure plate keeps the film flat across the picture area opening.

In its history, the photographic camera was developed from the camera obscura, a device describe earlier than 1039 by the Arabian Scholar Alhazen.  It consisted of a darkened room with a hole in one wall which light coming from the scene outside formed an image on the opposite wall.  For centuries however, there was no method of recording the image produced, other than drawing it.

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