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#126 2023-11-02 15:44:35

Mars_B4_Moon
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Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 8,694

Re: Robots becoming useful...

robotic teammates work alongside astronauts

Science in Space: Robotic Helpers
https://www.nasa.gov/missions/station/i … c-helpers/

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#127 2023-11-23 14:28:26

Mars_B4_Moon
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Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 8,694

Re: Robots becoming useful...

A Robotic Chemist Could Whip up the Perfect Batch of Oxygen on Mars

https://www.universetoday.com/164318/a- … n-on-mars/

Humans on Mars will need oxygen, and Mars’ atmosphere is pretty anemic when it comes to the life-sustaining element. NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully extracted oxygen from CO2 in Mars’ atmosphere, but there are other ways to acquire it.

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#128 2023-11-23 15:04:21

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,465

Re: Robots becoming useful...

For Mars_B4_Moon ... re Post #127

Thank you for the link you found and posted, about Chinese research to automate the difficult process of finding catalysts ...

Posted on November 20, 2023 by Evan Gough
A Robotic Chemist Could Whip up the Perfect Batch of Oxygen on Mars

Humans on Mars will need oxygen, and Mars’ atmosphere is pretty anemic when it comes to the life-sustaining element. NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully extracted oxygen from CO2 in Mars’ atmosphere, but there are other ways to acquire it. There seem to be vast amounts of water buried under the Martian surface, and oxygen in the water is just waiting to be set free from its bonds with hydrogen.

On Earth, that’s no problem. Just run an electrical current through water, and you get oxygen. But Mars won’t give up its oxygen so easily.

NASA’s Perseverance rover extracted oxygen from CO2 in Mars’ atmosphere, another first for the mission. It was an exciting achievement since future human visitors to Mars will need it to breathe and to create rocket fuel. But a team of Chinese scientists are developing a different approach.
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They’ve shared their results in a paper titled “Automated synthesis of oxygen-producing catalysts from Martian meteorites by a robotic AI chemist.” It’s published in Nature Synthesis, and the lead authors are from the Key Laboratory of Precision and Intelligent Chemistry at the University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China.

“Oxygen supply must be the top priority for any human activity on Mars because rocket propellants and life support systems consume substantial amounts of oxygen, which cannot be replenished from the Martian atmosphere,” the authors write. (NASA scientists might disagree with that statement.)

Instead, Chinese researchers think that solar energy can be used to produce oxygen from Martian water. But it won’t be the simple electrolysis from science class. Instead, they intend to employ catalysts.
Simple electrolysis involves running an electric current through water to produce oxygen and hydrogen. Image Credit: By © Nevit Dilmen, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.p … d=10959462
Simple electrolysis involves running an electric current through water to produce oxygen and hydrogen. Image Credit: By © Nevit Dilmen, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.p … d=10959462

Simple electrolysis faces barriers that limit its potential and productivity. The oxygen evolution reaction is a bottleneck in electrolysis, and scientists sometimes call electrolysis “sluggish.” On Earth, scientists know which catalysts can overcome the bottleneck. But conditions are different on Mars than they are on Earth. Scientists can’t just transpose methods that work on Earth onto Mars. The trick is finding the appropriate catalysts available on Mars. Scientists call them oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts.

Here’s the problem: there are over three million possible catalysts on Mars. How can scientists work through all those possibilities when the communication delay between Mars and Earth can be up to 20 minutes long? It’s not practical.

This is another situation where robotics and AI can solve a problem, according to the research team.

“Here we demonstrate a robotic artificial-intelligence chemist for automated synthesis and intelligent optimization of catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction from Martian meteorites,” the researchers explain. “The entire process, including Martian ore pretreatment, catalyst synthesis, characterization, testing and, most importantly, the search for the optimal catalyst formula, is performed without human intervention.”

China doesn’t have a functioning spacecraft on Mars that can do some of this work. Fortunately, nature has delivered samples of Mars to Earth in the form of meteorites. The researchers used small amounts of five types of Martian meteorites as feedstock in their automated system.
This simple schematic from the research outlines the robotic, AI-driven system. Samples of Martian meteorites are analyzed for potential catalysts. The system then synthesizes catalysts, optimizes them and tests them. The system searches for the optimal catalyst, all without human operators. Image Credit: Zhu et al. 2023.
This simple schematic from the research outlines the robotic, AI-driven system. Samples of Martian meteorites are analyzed for potential catalysts. The system then synthesizes catalysts, optimizes them and tests them. The system searches for the optimal catalyst, all without human operators. Image Credit: Zhu et al. 2023.

To illustrate how effective this fully automated, robotic AI system is, the researchers calculated how long it would take for humans to complete the same tasks using typical ‘trial and error’ methods.

The trial and error method is difficult because of what researchers call chemical space or material space. There are a confounding number of variables that need to be tested, and they occupy an enormous chemical space. “Designing a catalyst from a given list of elements requires the exploration of a vast chemical space,” the researchers explain, “which poses a daunting task using the conventional ‘trial-and-error’ paradigm.”

With the five Martian meteorites as feedstocks, there are an estimated 3,764,376 potential catalysts. That creates lifetimes of work for human scientists. “Finding the optimal formula would require 2,000?years of human labour to finish such a screening, where each complete experiment takes 5?hours, at least,” the researchers write.

Robotic chemistry has made serious advances in recent years, something the researchers say can be leveraged for use on Mars. They point to research by Cooper et al. in 2020. In that effort, a team of researchers used a mobile robot to tackle the chemical space and search for improved photocatalysts for hydrogen production from water. “The robot operated autonomously over eight days, performing 688 experiments within a ten-variable experimental space,” Cooper and his colleagues wrote in 2020. That’s 86 experiments per day.

With this new research, which the researchers call a ‘proof of concept study,’ the trend for robotic/AI chemistry takes another step.

It started with the AI. “Within six weeks, the AI chemist built a predictive model by learning from nearly 30,000 theoretical datasets and 243 experimental datasets,” the researchers explain. Eventually, the system delivered an exceptional catalyst made up of several metals. The material catalyzed the oxygen evolution reaction—the bottleneck in the electrolysis of oxygen from water—for 550,000 seconds (about 153 hours.) Furthermore, the catalyst was effective at -37 C, a typical surface temperature on Mars.
This schematic shows the robotic/AI system in greater detail. LIBS stands for Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy. LIBS produces a small amount of plasma on the surface of the sample that aids study. While complex, simple electrolysis is still the heart of the system. Image Credit: Zhu et al. 2023.
This schematic shows the robotic/AI system in greater detail. LIBS stands for Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy. LIBS produces a small amount of plasma on the surface of the sample that aids study. While complex, simple electrolysis is still the heart of the system. Image Credit: Zhu et al. 2023.

“Our study provides a demonstration that an advanced AI chemist can, without human intervention, synthesize OER catalysts on Mars from local ores,” the authors claim. This is an impressive development. The fact that it’s all done in situ is also compelling.

“The established protocol and system, which are generic and adaptive, are expected to advance automated material discovery and synthesis of chemicals for the occupation and exploration of extraterrestrial planets,” they conclude. But what’s next?
This map of buried water ice on Mars was made with data from three orbiters. The colours show how deep the ice is buried, with black regions being so soft a spacecraft would sink into the ground. The white polygon shows the ideal region where astronauts would be able to just dig up ice with a shovel. Image Credit: By NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU - https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA23514.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.p … d=84799085
This map of buried water ice on Mars was made with data from three orbiters. The colours show how deep the ice is buried, with black regions being so soft a spacecraft would sink into the ground. The white polygon shows the ideal region where astronauts would be able to just dig up ice with a shovel. Image Credit: By NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA23514.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.p … d=84799085

China’s next mission to Mars could be a sample return endeavour, according to the China National Space Administration. That mission will be Tianwen 3, the third in the Tianwen line, and China hopes to beat NASA/ESA to the punch by returning a sample to Earth in 2031.

It seems unlikely that China can also shoehorn a robotic/AI chemistry experiment into a sample return mission, but you never know. The CNSA is ambitious and eager to measure up to NASA’s record of success.

If they can, it’ll be an extremely impressive feat and a big leap forward in Mars exploration.

(th)

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#129 2023-11-25 14:04:36

Mars_B4_Moon
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Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 8,694

Re: Robots becoming useful...

Robotic excavator builds a giant stone wall with no human assistance

https://newatlas.com/robotics/heap-auto … tone-wall/

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#130 2023-12-05 20:38:13

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,465

Re: Robots becoming useful...

https://www.yahoo.com/news/darpa-funded … 08089.html

Space
DARPA-funded 'Inchworm' robots could help us build moon bases. Here's how
Josh Dinner

Tue, December 5, 2023 at 9:00 AM EST·3 min read
1

A gold-foil-wrapped octagonal lunar probe is landed on a grey surface. A white robotic arm is attached to the probe's flat top, next to an antenna.

A maneuverable robot from Japan-based startup GITAI has made the list of technologies chosen for a lunar infrastructure development study from DARPA.

DARPA, or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research and development organization of the United States Department of Defense, announced the 10-Year Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) capability study study in August this year, seeking to unite isolated endeavors within the scientific community in order to create an advanced technological infrastructure to support future activities in space and on the surface of the moon.

One of the companies chosen for LunA-10, GITAI, is a space robotics startup with a focus on making laborious tasks in space safer and more affordable. As part of that aim, the company has designed modular "Inchworm" robots with interchangeable, task-adaptable hardware, capable of performing complex tasks in microgravity and the lunar surface environment.

The robots' modular design allows for easy incorporation into other technologies, and is in-line with DARPA's LunA-10 vision of an incorporated technological infrastructure for space and lunar exploration.

Related: DARPA wants to build a 'thriving commercial economy' on the moon in 10 years

Several companies were announced at the October 11 meeting of the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC), "subject to successful contract negotiations," said Dr. Phil Root, Director of the strategic technology office at DARPA, at the October meeting.

GITAI was one of the companies listed under the Construction and Robotics section of Root's presentation, and has now been officially selected for the LunA-10 study.

GITAI tested this technology inside the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock aboard the International Space Station (ISS), with its "S1" robot, which successfully maneuvered dexterous tasks like pushing buttons and switches, as well as the assembly of test components resembling solar panels or antennas.

Related Stories:

— Can NASA's Artemis moon missions count on using lunar water ice?

— DARPA is exploring ways to build big things in space

— The International Space Station is now home to the world's 1st commercial airlock

A second robot, the "S2," is being launched to the ISS in early 2024, with the goal of demonstrating the technology's servicing capabilities on the exterior of the space station. Neither the S1 or S2 reflect the full abilities of GITAI's Inchworm being included in DARPA's LunA-10 study, but are "technologically akin" to the developing robot, according to a GITAI release.

"We're both humbled and thrilled to be chosen," said GITAI found and CEO Sho Nakanose as a part of the company's LunA-10 announcement. Nakanose sees the company's mission as being about more than just robotics. "It's about forging a new era of lunar infrastructure," he said, adding, "our innovative approach, leveraging modular robotics, is a catalyst for reshaping how we envision the moon."

According to an August statement from DARPA, selection for the study makes GITAI eligible for up to $1 million in funding, with a fast timeline to realize the Inchworm's technological progress. Companies selected for LunA-10 are expected to update the scientific community on their progress during an April 2024 meeting of the LSIC.

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(th)

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#131 2023-12-06 17:15:04

Mars_B4_Moon
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Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 8,694

Re: Robots becoming useful...

Chinese researchers propose an automated AI-powered robotic chemist for synthesizing catalysts on Mars.

https://www.universetoday.com/164318/a- … n-on-mars/

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#132 2024-01-20 16:36:00

SpaceNut
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Registered: 2004-07-22
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