“Movement just makes you smart”

Evolution is highly improvable

Humans have evolved with highly scalable solutions, because our evolution has reused what we were – amoebas, reptiles, apes – to synthesize patches that allow us to launch, capture, and tighten… Robots, on the other hand, are designs from scratch, because this involves solutions in Robots, such as the wheel, which bioevolution has not yet achieved, although they are still less efficient than our energy-using muscles. And it has given us worse knees and shoulders than robots, even though the mosquito is still smarter than them. In space, robots also face challenges, such as zero gravity, which we Earth ignore, as well as human whims, Visentin explains, such as preferring Netflix over TV from global satellites, which must now be reprogrammed.

What does a human learn when making a robot?

This intelligence is movement, adaptation, change…

why?

Because the movement is demanding it. Movement only makes you smart. If you don’t move, you don’t have to make the adaptive decisions that the change your movement brings about.

Who does not move and does not learn?

If you remain persistent, you become rigid, because you do not need the intelligence to adapt and you do not develop it.

And what is knowledge, then?

Experience change brought about by movement. This is the conceptual basis for modern biorobots.

Is the easiest thing for a robot to do the hardest for us and vice versa?

It’s not very superficial. We design bots, like Kuka, that defeat ping pong champions; But we haven’t yet achieved a robotic arm that can hold a cup.

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Does mechanistic evolution still have much to learn from humans?

Again, it depends. We have muscles, an evolutionary miracle of optimizing energy that, on the other hand, is used by robots with much less efficiency; But it’s been a few days since my knee troubled me. They hurt.

And for me, this is the change of times.

Because the biological evolution of our knees has achieved only poor adaptation to the demands of the environment.

If they were, unfortunately, the knees!

Those who use robots are better, as do other robotic joints. Our shoulders, another example, are a patchwork of nerves that evolution was riding on because we needed them to adapt to new needs: throwing, grabbing, pulling…

We descend from amoebas, then reptiles, and primates: so are we just gimmicks?

Natural evolution repairs what is already there, because it cannot design us anew. Instead, robotics engineers build a robot from scratch without having to reuse and repair an old robot.

What are the advantages of creating from scratch?

We apply the wheel, for example, to robotic joints. Nature has not been able to invent the wheel through evolution. It is much better than the knees.

Does this make robots smarter than mosquitoes?

Smart for what? We still have a long way to go before a robot becomes autonomous to do its job without first receiving all the instructions and being able to escape an unexpected danger…like a mosquito.

Does the mosquito carry its instructions in its DNA and the robot in its program?

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Robotic aerospace engineers also have to think about adapting to space. The need for zero-gravity for astronauts’ suits leads us to develop exoskeletons that then serve to aid paraplegics on Earth.

Are astronauts half robots?

Space treats humans fatally. Solar radiation destroys us. In contrast, the future of robots that perform the task of self-healing is promising. Satellites, for example, have been in service for decades …

And our lives changed.

They changed our lives. Satellites have made universal television for 20 years, but they have become useless, because now people prefer Netflix. So we’re reusing it for example to provide Wi-Fi for airplanes.

Should you reprogram satellites?

The concept of self-repair is at the core of space exploration, and only robots capable of self-healing will complete the task. That’s why we developed ORU ( orbital replacement unit ).

Wouldn’t it be expensive experiences for poor taxpayers like me?

ESA costs you only 12 euros per year.

Wouldn’t it be a better global agency?

If there is no intelligence without movement, then there is no progress and no innovation without competition and cooperation at the same time. The best thing is for NASA, the European Space Agency, Chinese and Russian agencies to cooperate and compete in and for space.

Did you know that Generalitat sponsored the launch of the Enxaneta nano satellite?

I support local initiatives to explore space. Good.

where do you work?

As you know, the European Space Agency has offices all over Europe: Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain…

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I wish all countries would do the same.

And here in Barcelona they have Melissa, the headquarters for experiments in recycling human waste. The same urine treatment that has been perfected here in Barcelona today is used to treat water in thousands of cities.

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