Humans have walked on the Moon, and inevitably, according to NASA, humans will tread the Red Planet as well, possibly by 2037.
An ergonomist and an industrial designer pondered the challenges of the Martian environment and developed an award-winning concept rover that could someday transport and house astronauts on the surface of Mars. The rover is described in an article to be published in Ergonomics in Design: The Quarterly of Human Factors Applications.
Using a human factors/ergonomics method called function analysis, part of a larger systems approach, Steven Casey and Gregg Montgomery considered the functional requirements of a future Mars exploration rover for use by people instead of robots. A number of questions needed to be answered before they could begin their design, these among them:
Conducting a function analysis early in the system development process is critical in ensuring that the vehicle can meet the demands of the environment and the users while also meeting constraints such as expense, weight, and shape.
Casey and Montgomery's concept Mars exploration rover received the GOOD DESIGN Award by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Future rovers may not resemble their rover concept in all details, but function analysis is certain to be part of the design, development, testing, and usability studies that theoretically should generate similar results and ensure the safety and comfort of the Mars explorers.
Media: For an advance copy of the complete article, contact HFES Communications Director Lois Smith (email@example.com, 310/394-1811).
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world's largest nonprofit individual-member, multidisciplinary scientific association for HF/E professionals, with more than 4,500 members in the United States and other countries. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, and engineers, all of whom share a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. "Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering."
Lois Smith | EurekAlert!
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
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