Dana Gardner

Why flexible work and the right technology may just close the talent gap

By Dana Gardner | January 8, 2020

Companies struggle to find qualified workers in the mature phase of any business cycle. Yet as we enter a new

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This Company Hires Gig Workers—as Employees

By Wired | January 13, 2020

A California law requires many contractors to be treated as employees. One temp agency startup might stand to benefit, by

NASA’s second free-flying assistant robot gets to work

The International Space Station is crewed by more than astronauts these days – NASA activated a free-floating autonomous robot called ‘Bumble’ earlier this year, and now Bumble has a new companion called Honey. Both are Astrobee robots, cube-like “robotic teammates” for ISS astronauts, which are designed to help with experiments, day-to-day activities and more.

These two robots are alike in all regards, though Honey features yellow accents while Bumble has blue for the sake of visual identification. Honey will still need to undergo testing before it’s fully ready to start its work in earnest, but it’s going to benefit from its similarity to Bumble – the earlier robot has already mapped the interior of the Space Station’s Kibo module, which means that Honey won’t be starting from scratch since it’s received that mapping data via a software update.

This robotic duo will soon become a trio, since a third Astrobee called ‘Queen’ was delivered to the ISS in July and will go online after Honey is up and running. This is hardly the only example of space-based autonomous robotics in use, but it is an interesting example because these robots are designed to work alongside human astronauts and share their space while operating on their own, untethered in a zero gravity environment…

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THOUGHT LEADERS

Daren Glenister

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