After 20 years...
September 14, 2019
August 12, 2040: I am stargazing and I really hope I will get to see one of the most spectacular meteor showers...but this is somehow familiar. It takes me back 20 years ago, when I was watching the PERSEIDS alongside my colleagues from the robotics team.
We were all sitting on a bench, in the park near our old HUB. A was so fascinated by the wonders of the universe. He was always passionate about astronomy...Yesterday I received a photo from him: he got out of the Space Station because they had just received the new telescope and it had to be installed on the surface of the station. He is coordinating the main team of engineers. B used to always tease him and tell that him he was dreaming with his eyes wide open.
We were young, rebellious teens, with a burning passion for robotics. Right now, B is at the lunar port, the place where people can get on board to Mars. He is assigned to take care of the Space Control Centre. B and C go back a long way: they have been working together in programming since university and now they are also married to each other!!! Who would have thought 20 years ago that they would end up together... This pair was the cause of the biggest conflicts and dramas in our team: two strong personalities, in love with programming and both fighting for the ALPHA place in the squad. I remember telling them that their true value can be seen when they are collaborating. I was right. Together, they developed the software used by the 3D printers that make the buildings for the Lunar and Martian colonies. 10 days ago, they opened a restaurant with 3D printed food. They somehow managed to keep their souls as wild as then. And they are not alone in the lunar colony: D is also there. Amazing, right? She was always looking for the best angle while shooting videos, avoiding shadows in the pictures and always carefully adding emotion to our social media posts. She used to stare at the robot's movements to capture a somewhat touching photo of that stack of metal and electric wires. I laugh when I remember that once, during the winter, she drew a smiley face with red nail polish on the video camera installed on the robot: "The pictures are colder than the wind outside! The smile brings warmth!". I kept that camera as a memory - it became, of course, unusable and it had to be changed. What is this girl with a big soul doing on the Moon? She finished the Cinematographic Arts University 15 years ago and she made herself known for her movie "INTERSTELLAR UP-DATE". She called me two days ago to ask me where she should be heading next. I found out that she is on the lunar colony with a PhD in communication and psychology and leading the telepathic communication team. Her team is in charge of developing new ways to communicate with alien civilizations. Sometimes she sends us holograms of the Earthrise. On one of them was painted a giant smiley face with red nail polish.
E and F are now on the Martian colony. E is the commander of the transport squadron which takes care of the logistics bridge between the Moon base and the Martian colony. He is the idol of many teens back on Terra, being more famous than any other celebrity from Hollywood. Skywalker is pretty much history at this point. I've read about his last "adventure" - he saved the lives of the colonists from a spaceship that was flying aimlessly in space.
F is in charge of the health department of the colony and is the commander of the medical research lab on Mars. When he was in the robotics team, he often dreamt of becoming the best tuned cars designer. One day, we were all invited to see the medical robot Da Vinci... We were at a loss of words for three days and, after that, F announced us that: "Tuned cars are airs and graces! The people need me!". He finished both the University of Robotics and the Medical University in the same year. Now he is leading one of the most important research division in the world.
I look for the Moon in the sky to wave at them, but... I often forget that the night sky is not as full of stars as before. The artificial moon we built in space in order to decrease the level of energy consumption of the planet, it diminishes the darkness of the night sky. Do I feel guilty? No, because the energy consumption on Earth was reduced by 25%. It was, it is and it will always be the soul project of our generation. In this project, I found myself working alongside G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N: design, astrophysics, space engineering, artificial intelligence... What a team! What a project! What a result! Many personalities from the area of innovation were against our project: they didn't see the necessity of an artificial satellite that would redirect sunlight to the dark side of the Earth with the help of some mirrors. G and his team set the optimum speed and distance of the satellite from the Earth. H succeeded in finding the most efficient nanomaterial for the mirrors...it took 3 years of studies in the biggest laboratories around the world. I was the "voice of the project", the one that made people believe in it: thousands of hours of meetings, conferences and debates. She had the hardest part: the persuasion work. She brought together lots of governments from different countries around this project. C always jokes and tells her she should candidate for the position of PRESIDENT OF THE PLANET, however she reminds him that she wants to give, not hinder. The Artificial Intelligence Department of the project was lead by J... The team of design and engineering agreed that he was the best person to be assigned for this sector. After he finished university, he became an active militant of the idea of sharing AI with all the states and all the citizens of this planet because he was scared of the gap between the social class that had access to AI and the people who didn't. He is the founder of World Organization AI and the initiator of lots of legislative measures that can be found in "The Etiquette of AI".
K, L, M are inseparable - a designer, an engineer and a programmer that are making aerospace history. Their creativity and originality are always making the headlines in the science world around the globe. It is rumored that they can create a world in less than 7 days. They founded an organization whose main objective is promoting the STEM education among younger generations. They have a mobile, modular laboratory in which they travel all around the globe, to the most distant places to show kids the newest discoveries in science and technology. They are the most authentic ambassadors of our planet. Their names are whispered by children everywhere. They are book and movie heroes. We are always there for them and we support them in any possible way. We call them "The three musketeers". Besides them is N, D'Artagnan - the youngest member from our team. His wisdom is way ahead of his age - he is the brain of the whole team. In the hardest moments he was the one that knew how to mobilize and support us, to plan our activity, he is the living spirit of our scientific rebellion. After 20 years, we are the same, just as crazy, rebel, creative and original.
This is us, the robotics team Ro2D2 after 20 years... the reader has the right to replace any initial of the characters with our names: Eva, Daria, Simona, Irina, Ștefi, Sara, Nicholas, Spiru, Andrei, Tudor, Cristi, Pika, Ștefan, Alex, David.
Thanks for design, Ruxandra Cristina Iosif!
At the beginning...
June 14, 2018
We are a young robotics team built with motivation and aspiration. We are going to participate at FTC Romania and many other competitions and we will try to do our best. We will never forget that: "It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end." (Ursula K. LeGuin)
We think that Robotics and STEM studies will open the gate of our FUTURE. By evolving on this path, we will be able to help other people and the environment by developing new technologies with fewer resources.
All of us have been amazed by robots since we were really young and now we want to develop a career which includes them because they represent evolution. Moreover, since we have heard about Sophia, the robot created using breakthrough robotics and artificial intelligence technologies, we have dreamed that, over some years, we could also try to create robots even better and more realistic than her.
During this project, we will use our knowledge about physics, math and IT that we accumulated in the last years by participating at a large variety of competitions. The biggest challenge that will occur throughout this project will be to make the connection between theoretical aspects and reality: friction forces, center of mass, mathematical algorithm of motion.
There is no denying that Robotics will play a crucial role in our everyday lives in the future. Just as the industrial revolution replaced human labor with machines, this more recent phenomenon will further lessen the need for human physical activities. Our most fervent ambition is to be able to take part in this "next step" of human advancement and therefore we believe that involvement in this project would greatly help to mold our minds and our future. Not only will we be learning different kinds of STEM skills, but also the most valuable skills of all: teamwork, tolerance, and acceptance. We think that this kind of projects, and robotics overall, are a great way of bringing people together.
Robotics will help us find new opportunities for our future careers because many aspects involved in this project are capable of developing a passion in the mind and soul of youngsters like we are.
This competition emphasizes the principle of less and less use of human manual work and we want to leave a mark on this process of automation. Our greatest desire would be to create a functional robot, knowing that it will be a hard work at its core.
Maybe, in the future, we will take part in big worldwide projects:
- Medical nano drones that will find and kill cancerous cells inside the human body
- First base on Mars populated with robots that will explore the mineral resources of the planet (at the weekend the robots will invite us at a ROBOPARTY 😊).
- Androids that will help people in their every-day lives.
- Bow-leg robots that can explore fast rough terrains.
- Artificial intelligence that can predict the various future alternatives by evaluating past actions and human personality.
- Snake robots that can explore drill holes.
- Artificial arms and legs with haptic feedback.
... in other words, to transform our dream in reality.
We think that in the future, the robots will help us conquer the Universe, they will generate all the resources that humanity needs, they will provide high-quality medical care or domestic services.
The challenge our generation faces will be to share all of this with the whole world.