I participated in an international underwater robots competition organised by NASA, and I was ranked second, AMA.

Jul 14, 2017

Robots nowadays make the headlines and the buzz as they are the future, I participated in an international underwater robots competition organised by NASA ask me about it.

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What kind of robot did you compete with?

Jul 13, 6:57PM EDT0

It goes under the section of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) all robots were underwater robots.

Jul 15, 6:40AM EDT0

What do you mean this was sponsored by NASA?

Jul 13, 3:56PM EDT0

It means that it was organized, funded, and its rules were set by NASA.

Jul 15, 6:33AM EDT0

How did you find out about this competition?

Jul 13, 3:50PM EDT0

I found about this competition through university and professor's recommendation.

Jul 15, 6:32AM EDT0

Are you the only one from the university who participated in the competition?

Jul 15, 1:36PM EDT0

Do you think it is ethical to produce robots that could take jobs from people?

Jul 13, 7:35AM EDT0

It might be not ethical. However, these robots will also create new jobs that were not available before. There is a study that showed that between now and the previous decade thousands of job categories were created thanks to the advancement of technology.

Jul 15, 6:25AM EDT0

What jobs are you talking about?

Jul 15, 1:37PM EDT0

What kind of materials are used in the production of robots?

Jul 13, 3:10AM EDT0

Most importantly sensors (hardware that senses the environment), controlling software, and actuators (physical equipment that helps the robot achieve its intended tasks)

Jul 15, 6:24AM EDT0

What software is commonly used?

Jul 15, 1:38PM EDT0

How expensive is a typical robot development project?

Jul 13, 1:45AM EDT0

It can start from 1000$ (as a robotics school project) to billions of dollars (if it is a NASA project for example)

Jul 15, 6:22AM EDT0

How much money did you spend on your robot?

Jul 15, 1:39PM EDT0

How can robot developers ensure the safety and efficiency of the units they create?

Jul 13, 12:06AM EDT0

Before exposing the robots to the uncertainties of the world or the environment the robot will be operating in, safety and efficiency experiments are done in a controlled environment many times before releasing the product.

Jul 15, 6:21AM EDT0

Are robots produced in countries other than this country?

Jul 12, 3:42PM EDT0

Many countries other than the US produce robots. In fact, Japan and South Korea are the pioneers of the field and are now leading the robotics industry.

Jul 15, 6:19AM EDT0

Are the European countries also engaged in the development of robots?

Jul 15, 1:42PM EDT0

Are there robots today that are able to respond to speech?

Jul 12, 3:10PM EDT0

There are actually. While some projects are confidential due to their impact, commercial projects can be an example to answer your question. Siri, the virtual assistant, that you find in your iPhone, or even the Amazon Alexa in your Amazon Echo are examples of speech recognition robots. In previous questions, I have mentionned the Kirobo robot the humanoid (that can speak) that went to space with astronautes is another example.

Jul 15, 6:18AM EDT0

Are these robots used in industrial production?

Jul 15, 1:44PM EDT0

Do you think excessive exposure to humanoid robots can lead to total termination of human interaction?

Jul 12, 3:04PM EDT0

I honestly don't think so, in our natural evolution, we are deeply rooted as social animals. Lack of social intercation among human beings might lead us to depression, so no matter what happened (over exposure to human interaction) we always will need to interact with human beings.

Jul 14, 5:33AM EDT0

But technologies are developing each day. And once the robot like human being will be created, with feelings, ability to reproduction. And may be man won't need interaction with people in the future. Do you think it's possible?

Jul 15, 12:12AM EDT0

Are there robots that can walk or move in other ways?

Jul 12, 1:28PM EDT0

There are a lot of robtos that move in all kinds of ways. Most of these robots usually mimic a living creature. Some of these robots mimic the behaviors of a human beings and they are called humanoids (See below questions) and the ones that are widely available are the ones which mimic the walking behaviors of an animal, so we can find those who walk on four legs, other that walk  on 8 and others who crawl... These animals mimiced can be a spider, an ant or a chetah. It is really amazing how much we learn from nature. 

Jul 14, 4:48AM EDT0

That's really amazing. 

Jul 15, 12:23AM EDT0

Are there any dangers associated with the use of robots?

Jul 12, 9:05AM EDT0

Other than privacy concerns that some people might have and some electric failure, I don't think there is much to fear.

Jul 12, 9:23AM EDT0

Are you going to school for robotics?

Jul 12, 7:38AM EDT0

I am majoring in computer science & software engineering, and we can agree that the field of robotics is closely related to them.

Jul 12, 9:21AM EDT0

How did you get into this field?

Jul 12, 7:17AM EDT0

I got involved in this field after doing a research year in a robotics laboratory in Japan.

Jul 12, 7:19AM EDT0

What was this research about?

Jul 15, 12:35AM EDT0

Are robots powered by batteries or another power source?

Jul 12, 7:05AM EDT0

The robot that we have built is indeed electrically powered. Since its purpose was to do some missions underwater in the deck of a sea port, it won't be very far from the shore. so we thought it is a good idea to power it with electricity through a long wire, and the idea worked perfectly.

Jul 12, 7:18AM EDT0

Thank you for the answer. What kind of robots uses batteries?

Jul 15, 12:47AM EDT0

Can anyone participate in these types of events?Do you think children should be allowed to play with robots?

Jul 12, 4:07AM EDT0

Most likely people of all age levels: as these competitions are indeed accessible for children, this competition had categories, one for college students, and one for middle school students to experience the fun of robots.

Jul 12, 7:18AM EDT0

Do you need to pay some entrance fee?

Jul 15, 1:08AM EDT0

Are there certain industries that rely on robots a lot?

Jul 12, 3:29AM EDT0

The manufacturing industry (Car factories for example) any industry that want to produce big equipment for bulk... 

Jul 12, 7:17AM EDT0

What is the technical definition of a robot?

Jul 12, 2:56AM EDT0

According to Pr. Google: A robot is a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer.

Jul 12, 7:16AM EDT0

What is the principal use of robots today?

Jul 12, 2:27AM EDT0

I would say facilitating life for human beings depeinding on the specificity of these robots.

Jul 12, 7:03AM EDT0

What the function will you give totherobot in your ordinary life?

Jul 15, 1:00AM EDT0

Are robots accessible to children for play or study?

Jul 12, 2:14AM EDT0

They are indeed accessible for children, this competition had categories, one for college students, and one for middle school students to experience the fun of robots.

Jul 12, 7:02AM EDT0

Who won first place? Where you jealous?

Jul 12, 12:29AM EDT0

The Egyptian team were second. Of course not, we value hard work and innovation, they were both hardworking and innovative more than us. We congratulate them from the bottom of our heart!

Jul 12, 6:59AM EDT0

Will you take some ideas for next projects?

Jul 15, 1:11AM EDT0

Are you in favor of having robots in the household?

Jul 12, 12:17AM EDT0

The only issue that imposes itself when dealing with having robots in the household especially if these robots are linked to a network is privacy. Some people chose not to have the robot to keep their privacy while others don't, and there are those in between (like me) who like some privacy, but don't mind a robot in the house.

Jul 12, 6:57AM EDT0

Does NASA host competitions like this all the time?

Jul 12, 12:12AM EDT0

They definitely host a lot of competitions each one with a specific theme, this was one of them under the theme: underwater robotics.

Jul 12, 6:51AM EDT0

How different are underwater robots?

Jul 12, 12:08AM EDT0

They look like this, how do you find them?

Jul 12, 6:44AM EDT0

That's really what I imagined. And they are all the same?

Jul 15, 1:23AM EDT0

Do you think the robotics industry is an important one to continue developing?

Jul 11, 9:38PM EDT0

It is definitely an emerging one. If you look closely everything around you contains a mechanism that serves for doing a very specific task from microwaves, to supply chains in industries, and this all thanks to the robotics technology. 

Jul 12, 6:43AM EDT0

Do you work for NASA?

Jul 11, 9:37PM EDT0

I don't (but I wish I did), but the competition that I participated in was organized for NASA!

Jul 12, 6:36AM EDT0

Does NASA give the chance for winners to work for them?

Jul 15, 1:35AM EDT0

Is the production of humanoid robots really necessary and beneficial?

Jul 11, 9:29PM EDT0

Japan has crossed major milestones towards building humanoid robots, and they have found ingenious ways to integrate them into society. An example of that, among the many examples there is the RIBA nurse robot, or the Kirobo humanoid Robot by Toyota who joined a space mission as a companion to the astronauts.

Jul 12, 6:34AM EDT0

Was the Robot difficult to control in the water?

Jul 11, 9:27PM EDT0

It was indeed difficult. not only it requires steering using powerful pumps, but also diving and floating. In summary, there is much to control than a normal underground robot.

Jul 12, 6:26AM EDT0

How many people worked on such complicated task?

Jul 15, 1:17AM EDT0

Did you build the robot that was used in the competition?

Jul 11, 8:21PM EDT0

Inded, we built the whole robot from scratch, by ourselves. from 3D Printing the parts to assembling them to doing the simulations on the materials.

Jul 12, 6:19AM EDT0

Have there been any developments that involve more than one robot interacting with each other?

Jul 11, 8:21PM EDT0

As of my knowledge, I don't know. Our competition consisted of one robot interacting with its surrounding environment, not with other robots. That does not mean that robots cannot interact with each other, but it requires more skills, programming and precision.

Jul 12, 5:36AM EDT0

Ok, thanks

Jul 15, 1:48AM EDT0

Did you actually go into the water with the robot?

Jul 11, 8:18PM EDT0

As explained in the previous question, the robot is electrically powered through a wire that goes from a power source to the robot, and as everyone knows electricity and water are extremely dangerous to the human being when combined. The way we secure human beings that are under water with the robot is using a fuse that cuts power whenever there is a leak or failure from the robot's side, but it is really rare when take that risk and let a human being under water with our robot 

Jul 12, 5:02AM EDT0

Are there any robots that are electrically powered?

Jul 11, 8:14PM EDT0

The robot that we have built is indeed electrically powered. Since its purpose was to do some missions underwater in the deck of a sea port, it won't be very far from the shore. so we thought it is a good idea to power it with electricity through a long wire, and the idea worked perfectly.

Jul 12, 4:31AM EDT0