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Science Issues of 2015 brought up by the American Science Journal

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Neither a great discovery nor a great invention has ever been made overnight. Without previous achievements, there will be no further discoveries, and thus no further inventions. That is why we look at the past to predict the future, and look at the present to reflect on the past.

Today, among 10 issues of 2015 and monthly issues chosen by the American science journal , we would like to present three special issues that we assume will have an impact on our past and future. Let us reflect on how much effort we have put into science and how our efforts will be paid off in the future.

 

 

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ISSUE 1>

ROS, the Open-source Robot Operation System

 

“R2” of NASA, “Baxter” of Rethink Robotics, and “Atlas” of Boston Dynamics are considered as the most sophisticated intelligent robots that have ever existed. The common characteristics of these robots are that they use the open-source “Robot Operating System (ROS)” of “Willow Garage” associated with Google.

ROS is not the only open-source operating system. There are others including the “Open RObot COntrol Software (OROCOS) of the European Union; the “Robot Technology Component (RTC),” the first global standard in the field of the intelligent robots’ and the “Open Platform for Robotic Services (OPRoS)” in Korea.

However, there are reasons behind how ROS gets special attention among these operating systems. ROS is accessible to anyone and open to download, providing tools and a community at its disposal. While high performance is guaranteed, ROS is compatible with other platforms. In addition, because it is an open-source operating system, it is distributed for free.

The popularization of robots is no longer a matter of the future, and as a result, the robot operating system is becoming one of the world’s hot topics today. Experts said that ROS would be widespread as the major operating system of intelligent robots. ROS 2.0 is ready to be unveiled this summer, and it will be interesting to see how far it can go. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Development and Diffusion of the Open-source Operating System, ROS

 

2006 Scott Hassan founded Willow Garage, and invested USD 20 million at his own expense into the research of robot hardware and software.

2008 Willow Garage started to develop “ROS.”

2009 ROS was first introduced as an open-source operating system on the Web site “ROS.org.”

2010 Willow Garage developed “ROS 1.0” and released “ROS Official Version.”

It also provided “Robot PR2,” which costs around USD 400,000, to 10 research laboratories all over the world for free.

2013 Rethink Robotics introduced the collaborative manufacturing robot “Baxter” that applied ROS.

2015 “ROS 2.0” will soon be unveiled.

 

 

 

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ISSUE 2>

Two Dwarf Planets to Be Explored

 

This year, a new exploration into two dwarf planets is about to begin.

NASA launched the “New Horizons” spacecraft to Pluto in 2006, and the “Dawn” spacecraft to Ceres in 2007. The “Dawn” enters the orbit first in March, and explores Ceres with a diameter of 950 km that weighs one-third of the sum of all the dwarf planets in the asteroid belt. Ceres was born around 4.6 billion years ago when the solar system was first formed. Thus, it is anticipated that there will be a significant scientific discovery in the understanding of the birth and development of the solar system.

The “New Horizons” spacecraft will arrive at Pluto in July and start filming the planet at a close distance. Pluto, with a diameter of 2,300 km, which used to be one of the planets in the solar system, is the largest celestial body found in the Kuiper Belt far beyond Neptune. Because the orbit of Pluto is far from circular unlike that of other planets in the solar system, it is expected that interesting results will be reported.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dwarf Planet Ceres

- Introduction: A dwarf planet with a diameter of 950 km located in the asteroid belt

- Characteristics: It is the only dwarf planet in the asteroid belt, and is also the largest and heaviest one.

 

 

 

Dwarf Planet Pluto

- Introduction: A dwarf planet with a diameter of 2,300 km located in the Kuiper Belt.

- Characteristic 1: The largest in the Kuiper Belt, and the second largest among the dwarf planets known so far.

- Characteristic 2: It held its planet status in the solar system until 2006 when it was reclassified as a dwarf planet, one of the many icy bodies orbiting at the edge of the solar system.

 
 
 

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ISSUE 3>

The Internet of Things (IoT) Becoming a Reality

 

It has been a long time since the Internet of Things started to be discussed along with welcoming of the ubiquitous era. The Internet of Things technology that only existed in our imagination is now actualized and new products that applied this technology are coming out one after another.

In the era of the Internet of Things, there will be no human intervention in operating things. It is because the things themselves can communicate with each other, exchanging information. It is possible to share information through the network built across various fields, such as from home appliances and electronic equipment to even health care, telemetering devices, and smart homes. The heart rate monitoring device, Google Glass, and Smart Bracelet are the best examples of interaction between such things.

In this upcoming May, Intel is planning to build a sensor network in Dublin, UK. It is important to look at how Dublin will evolve into a city of the Internet of Things.

CISCO Systems Inc., an American company specialized in networking and telecommunications, expects that by 2020, there will be around 37 billion devices that are connected to the Internet. It is interesting to see what kind of synergy will be made as these devices meet the Internet of Things technology.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dublin Dreams to Be the First Most Advanced IoT City in the World

 

Dublin, once considered as the financial hub of Europe, now focuses on the IT industry to regain its competency.

With a goal to become the “first country that Silicon Valley companies choose when they look for business opportunities in the global market,” Ireland has continued to attract a number of the global IT companies. In September 2014, IBM announced that it would open its European Digital Sales Centre at the IBM Technology Campus in Dublin. Meanwhile, Dell decided to build its new Commerce Services R&D Center in Dublin.

In addition, in collaboration with Intel, Dublin attempts to become the world’s first IoT city, claiming itself as the “most advanced IT city” in the future. Last March, the Dublin City Council signed an MOU with Intel Labs Europe in order to transform Dublin into the world’s first IoT city. The project is called the “Global Demonstrator for Smart City Sensors,” and its goal in four years is to turn Dublin into a city where sensors are most densely built compared to anywhere else in the world.