World Space Week to have a robotics theme at Trinity College Dublin tomorrow

9 Oct 2013

On 31 October 2012, NASA's Curiosity rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to capture this set of 55 high-resolution images, which were stitched together to create this full-color self-portrait. Image credit: NASA

World Space Week is now well under way around the globe to help communicate the language of space science and astrophysics to people of all ages via events. Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in Ireland has been no exception. Events at the university have included comet workshops, a family day, while tomorrow there will be a workshop on robonautics.

During the course of its Space Week programme, TCD homed in on the main theme of the global events this week: ‘Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth’.

World Space Week began Friday and wraps up tomorrow. Those with some time to spare, and with an interest in robotics, might want to pop along to a workshop that Conor McGinn will be giving at TCD.

The event, which will kick off at 1pm, will delve into how robots such as Curiosity are revolutionising planetary exploration.

With the successful landing of the Curiosity (the fourth rover to land successfully on the Martian surface) on Mars on 6 August 2012, McGinn is set to look at how it is becoming ever more apparent that the point at which the ability of robots to rival and perhaps surpass that of people is almost upon us.

His talk will discuss some of the key practical issues relating to design of planetary robots.

The session will focus on the design of Grover, a 400Ilb robot developed by NASA to measure the effects of climate change on the Greenland Ice Belt.

TCD’s Space Week event series has been supported by Institute of Physics (IOP) Ireland.

Tomorrow’s event will take place in Haughton Theatre, Museum Building, at TCD. More information is available online.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic