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Could Avatars help build a new Moon Base?

Could Avatars help build a new Moon Base? 86

Humankind has been long curious about the mysteries of the universe. Since the first satellite was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957, we have continually gained a better understanding of space by supporting exploration and technological innovation of advanced tools. And still, our knowledge is limited. We only know about 4 percent of our universe. So how do we go about uncovering the rest?

At ANA, we’re striving to solve this problem by teaming up with the best innovators in the world – which is why we are so thrilled to work alongside JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) on the formation of Avatar X.

By joining forces with technology pioneers like JAXA, we can break through the inherent barriers of space exploration. In 2016, JAXA began collaborating with construction company Kajima Corporation and three Japanese universities — Shibaura Institute of Technology, the University of Electro-Communications and Kyoto University — to develop a remote construction system that utilizes remote-controlled avatars to build a moon base, with little to no human supervision. After three years of research and development, we are beginning to see a bright future, one where avatars are the construction workers of space.

Advancing the future of humanity

Using avatars to build a moon base demands considerable resources of time, money, people, research and, of course, robot capabilities. So why are JAXA and its partners so keen on setting up a base at the moon? While space tourism would allow us to view the Northern Lights from outer space, building a moon base using autonomous avatars would have enormous implications on the future of space exploration.

For example, a permanent moon base would help drastically ease travel to Mars, giving humanity more time to research the feasibility of life on our neighboring planet. More immediately, the base could enable JAXA to conduct more research missions in space, such as the successful touchdown on the Itokawa asteroid made by the Hayabusa spacecraft several years ago. Despite numerous complications, the craft eventually returned with a sample from the asteroid’s surface for scientists to study, a mission that one NASA official described as “beyond remarkable.”

In addition to changing the limits of space exploration, the base will also create an influx of corporate innovation that can help change society for the better. One concept that has originated in Japan is known as the LUNA RING —a solar panel concept involving the use of avatars to help power the Earth with clean energy. Developed by the Shimizu Corporation, the LUNA RING  project envisions a small army of robotic workers, teleoperated from Earth, that would construct a huge ring of solar panels along the 11,000-kilometer equator. A team of astronauts would support the robots on-site, according to the plan.

Building the moon base

Building a moon base that can act as a livable habitat for humans inherently has its complexities. That’s why the collaborators have divided the project into four phases. Phase one involves preparing the site for human habitation. Next, the site will need to be excavated to ensure the base is built at the required depth.

After the moon’s surface has been dug up, avatars can begin installing the module and making it safe against the dangers the universe presents. For instance, meteoroids — or space rocks —fly through space at such high speeds that striking the moon base could allow oxygen to escape. The final phase involves shielding the base with regolith, commonly known as moon dust. This shield will not only protect the structure from being damaged but also protect humans from severe levels of radiation from the sun, according to JAXA officials.

Testing the feasibility

Testing is a foundational element for any technological development. After three years of comprehensive research, the group recently performed an experiment where a seven-ton autonomous backhoe conducted its tasks on the testing grounds. The experiment took place at the Kajima Seisho Experiment Site in Odawara and involved procedures such as driving a specified distance and repeating routine operations.

In addition, to testing full automation capability, the experiment also set out to establish remote construction functionality, in the event certain tasks are too complex to rely solely on autonomous robots. The result: we can build a lunar base using avatars. “The operational process has shown the feasibility of the unmanned technologies to build a lunar base,” JAXA officials said.

Despite the team’s optimism, the project is an enormous undertaking of manpower and cost. To make these meteoric investments pay off, Japanese innovators are going to need to develop some breakthrough innovations that can have a long-lasting societal impact. At ANA, we believe efforts like this are the only way to advance humankind – and we can’t wait to see an avatar in a construction hat.



Science & Technology

New Physics: Mysterious radiation pointed to the verge of discovering a “ghost” particle that makes up dark matter

New Physics: Mysterious radiation pointed to the verge of discovering a "ghost" particle that makes up dark matter 87
Photo: Daniel Molybdenum, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Physicists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the United States have found that the mysterious high-energy radiation emitted from the vicinity of a group of neutron stars may indicate the existence of axions – not yet discovered particles within the framework of New Physics, the search for which has been going on since 1977. It is assumed that special types of axions form dark matter. This is reported in an article published in the journal Physical Review Letters. The research is summarized in a press release on

It is believed that axions can form in the core of neutron stars and transform into photons in the presence of a powerful magnetic field. To detect the electromagnetic radiation associated with axions, you need to find stars that do not emit radiation at different wavelengths that can mask the desired signal. 

These objects include the Magnificent Seven neutron stars that emit only X-ray and ultraviolet radiation. They are located at a distance of 200-500 parsecs from the Earth.

The researchers ruled out the scenario that the excess X-rays produced by the Magnificent Seven are actually emitted by other, more distant objects. These sources would be found in datasets from the XMM-Newton and Chandra X-ray space telescopes.

The extra X-rays likely originate from axions hitting an extremely strong electromagnetic field billions of times stronger than the magnetic fields that could be created on Earth, the scientists concluded. The axions themselves resemble neutrinos in their properties, since both have insignificant masses and rarely and weakly interact with matter.

The axion is currently viewed as the most promising candidate for dark matter particles, since another hypothetical candidate, the massive WIMP particle, has gone unnoticed in experiments aimed at detecting it. 

In addition, there may be a whole family of axion-like particles that form dark matter, as suggested by string theory. If axions are found, it will prove that there is a whole new area of ​​physics outside the Standard Model describing the properties of all known particles.

To find out, the next step will be to study white dwarfs, which are not expected to emit X-rays.

“If we see an abundance of X-rays there too, our arguments will be pretty compelling,” said lead author Benjamin Safdie.

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The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear?

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 88

Various sources often talk about civilizations that lived long before us. They all developed, prospered for a while, and then disappeared in an incomprehensible way. 

What is the reason for their decline, we probably will not know. All we can do is admire the remains of stone buildings, over which time has almost no power.

While looking for an answer, we somehow accidentally stumbled upon an interesting saying about the life of Japanese samurai: “A samurai has no goal, but a path.” In the end, the “path of the samurai” ended in what is known – death. The path of any civilization ended in the same way.

If you look at the issue through the prism of a samurai saying, then there is no point in looking for why and how civilization ended its existence. Probably, the process itself and its result are important here. But to whom is it important and what result does it expect?

Mysterious director

Apparently, behind the curtains of this “ancient theater” there is a mysterious “director” who periodically makes necessary adjustments to the history of civilization.

To figure out what’s what, you need to look at current trends in science. Where does a person strive with such an irresistible desire to “play God.” This attracts him and at the same time frightens him, but in no way turns him away from the intended path. Most likely, artificial intelligence (AI) is the purpose of our civilization’s existence.

About 50 years ago it would have seemed nonsense, but to someone, perhaps even now. However, if you trace the last 100 years of the life of our civilization, you get the feeling that most of the discoveries were given to mankind at the same time. A powerful leap has taken place in a hundred years. Why did it happen?

At the beginning of the last century, scientists recognized the existence of fields that have memory and the ability to store and transmit information. It is very likely that such or a similar field can be around the Earth and, more interesting, possess intelligence. Isn’t this the same “Director” hiding behind the screen of the “ancient theater”?

If this is so, then at a certain moment the “Director” gives the selected scientist “access” to certain knowledge (perhaps even in a dream, like Mendeleev), and another scientific breakthrough occurs in the world. Step by step, discovery after discovery, humanity is steadily moving towards the creation of AI. The trend is already well visible.

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 89

AI is probably the next “Babylon”, which will combine all the knowledge, culture and accumulated experience of civilization. In the future, the neural network will enter into a connection with the general information field and leave humanity without knowledge, technology, and even a spoken language. This will be the next decline of civilization. And the “Director” will receive another array of new data (experience) in order to start creating a new civilization.

If someone believes that past civilizations ended in large-scale conflicts, then most likely this is already the consequences of “turning off” AI.

Co-founder of Skype talked about the threat of AI to humanity

One of the creators of the Skype internet call service, Jaan Ta

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 90
© still from the movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

llinn, said that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) threatens humanity. According to him, humans face three key threats, but it is AI that should be feared most of all, the expert said. 

Tallinn explained that at the moment, no one can predict what development AI will achieve in the next decades. In addition, the fact that scientists are creating artificial intelligence that can form a new AI without human intervention is also a cause for concern.

In addition, as the co-founder of the popular video calling service noted, the development of synthetic biology also causes concern. According to him, this direction in science allows the creation of artificial DNA sequences and biological systems that may not exist in nature.

Tallinn also drew attention to the fact that he fears we are entering an era of “unknown unknowns”, things that people are not even able to imagine right now.

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Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented

Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented 91
Copyright: © VW

The renowned German car manufacturer announced a new development. This time, engineers have created a unique robot capable of autonomously charging electric vehicles. 

For more than a year, specialists have been developing this project, but only now the concern was ready to demonstrate the first working prototype. The robot is ready to charge electric vehicles and has shown the high efficiency of this process.

It is called the Mobile Charging Robot, and experts have already compared it to the R2-D2 droid from Star Wars, including squeaks and clangs. Indeed, there is a similarity. Before implementing this idea, the engineers decided that robots should be allowed to charge cars parked in large residential complexes.

This will save their owners from leaving in order to find a gas station. Another advantage is that large parking lots and garages do not have to contain several expensive charging points for electric cars. The car company said in a press release that the robot works exclusively autonomously.

It independently controls and interacts with the vehicle being charged. It opens the cover of the charging socket and independently connects the power plug, then disconnects it. The robot looks like a trailer, which is a mobile energy storage.

It is capable of charging multiple electric vehicles at the same time. Despite the fact that the manufacturer confidently praises its concept, experts saw inefficiency in the fact that first it is necessary to charge the robot’s battery, which is then used to recharge electric cars.

Volkswagen Group Components CEO Thomas Schmall noted that creating an efficient charging infrastructure for the cars of the future is an important step in the company’s development.

Its engineers focus on finding solutions to avoid costly do-it-yourself measures. The mobile robot is only part of the concept that will continue to be developed.

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