Questions that should be asked
Posted Feb 23, 2013 11:41 UTC (Sat) by man_ls
In reply to: Questions that should be asked
Parent article: ABS: Android in space
Retrofitting sensors to what exactly? The idea of the robot is to do menial tasks. A sensor, by definition, can only sense, not do anything.
By "remote" sensors I mean those that send the information they collect elsewhere. The sensor itself has the capability to communicate remotely with a base station, not needing a flying bot to collect it. Makes sense on a space station, doesn't it?
Why do they need a custom smartphone? Spending money just because you can doesn't seem like a wise idea. And one-offs often end up being unreliable as well as expensive. Turns out, companies really do test phones before they ship a million units.
You answer yourself in the rest of your comment. The constraints of the mission forced them to change the batteries and to disable one chip. In effect, what was sent to space was a one-off job, but a sloppy one (having burnt one motherboard). And on top of it they did have all the problems of modern electronics, e.g. lead-free solders which cause tin whiskers
(note how the article specifies that leaded solders are admitted for aerospace hardware).
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