Author Topic: Robots vs Astronomers  (Read 972 times)

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Offline LongBlade

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Robots vs Astronomers
« on: April 19, 2015, 01:21:54 PM »

iRobot, the company that makes robot vacuum cleaners is now working on a robot lawnmower. Their first model required consumers to dig a trench around their yard and bury cable to help the robot understand where it could and couldn't mow.


As a less arduous solution, iRobot proposes using stakes, driven into the ground, to act as beacons. The beacons will talk to the lawnbots, helping it map the areas and stay within the designated boundaries. A typical user with a typical lawn (a quarter to a third of an acre) might need between four and nine beacons.

But the system requires special permission from the FCC due to its restrictions on fixed outdoor infrastructure. In a nutshell, the FCC doesn’t want people creating ad hoc networks of transmitters, which could interfere with existing authorized services like cellular and GPS systems. In its filings, iRobot says it should be exempt because it doesn’t set out to establish a broad communications network—its lawnbot networks would be tightly contained.

Astronomers say that’s not good enough. The frequency band proposed for the lawnbot (6240–6740 MHz) is the very same one several enormous radio telescopes operate on. Astronomers want the FCC to protect their share of the radio spectrum so their telescopes continue observing methanol, which abounds in regions where celestial bodies are forming.

Regardless of whether you bury cable or use stakes astronomers want those beacons to be no closer to 55 miles from their radio telescopes. iRobot claims astronomers need only 12 miles of distance.


Offline DoctorQuest

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Re: Robots vs Astronomers
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2015, 04:52:02 PM »
Robots with sharp spinning blades.........

This is not going to end well.
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Offline Nefaro

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Re: Robots vs Astronomers
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2015, 09:51:38 PM »