Strange Days In Science #11: Robots & Music from the Other Side

By on February 28, 2016 // Science // 1 Comment

Image: YouTube/Boston Dynamics
Image: YouTube/Boston Dynamics

Welcome, once again, to Strange Days In Science, for all your irregular science roundup needs. This week, we take a look at Boston Dynamics’ new killer robot, photonic-based propulsion, and the benefits of sleep. Let’s get going…

Atlas Shrugged Lifted Boxes

Boston Dynamics revealed their latest incarnation of ATLAS this week, which can pick up boxes and assess terrain to easily avoid obstacles. He has a spiffy new design, as well.

Watch as his creators poke ATLAS with a hockey stick and taunt him with his favorite box. But trust me – he will have his revenge

“It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. This version of Atlas is about 5′ 9″ tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.”

(Here’s the original video, by the way. I just thought the Auralnauts version was better.)

No More Strange Music

The latest episode of NASA’s Unexplained Files, which premiered earlier this week, highlighted “lost recordings” from the Apollo 10 mission. In them, a strange noise – described as “otherworldly music” – can be heard from the far side of the moon.

The astronauts aboard Apollo 10 can be heard commenting, as well: “The music even sounds outer-spacey, doesn’t it?”

Will NASA Fire Up The Lasers?

Physics professor Philip Lubin has proposed a photon-based propulsion system that would utilize lasers placed on Earth to propel spacecraft at great speeds. According to Christian Science Monitor, “Spacecraft would ‘sail’ using photons…pushed against a large, reflective sail by carefully aimed lasers.”

Another Day, Another Subsurface Ocean

New Horizons has provided us with many exciting images of Pluto and its moon Charon. Now, according to NASA, new images are suggesting that Charon may have once had a subsurface ocean of its own, that “has long since frozen and expanded.” This has, in turn, caused the moon’s surface “to stretch and fracture on a massive scale.”

Dream to Remember

Scientists have conducted new research that confirms something I’ve known for a while – sleep helps consolidate and improve memory. According to the University of Bristol, “The findings…show that patterns of brain activity that occur during the day are replayed at fast-forward speed during sleep,” strengthening connections and helping to sort and retain information.

Other things you may have missed…

And that, my friends, is it for this week. Please like Stranger Dimensions on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter. Also subscribe by email to have weird posts like this delivered straight into your inbox. Thanks for reading.

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About the Author

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.

  • Xena Arsinoe

    All they are hearing is the radio waves emitted by solar winds from the sun. The radio equipment is out of touch with Earth and it’s background noise. In the early days of radio. Noises and woooo’s were heard as well. Since the waves were largely silent .Because of the lack of interference