Friday, April 2, 2010

Eclipse, NASA and the Mars rovers

Dr Jeff Norris from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory gave an amazing keynote presentation at EclipseCon 2010. He showed how his team at NASA has been using Eclipse based clients to control Robots/Rovers. He also did some live demos - remotely controlled a giant ATHLETE rover, and controlled a robotic Socrates head. It was nice to see Eclipse being used for controlling those Mars rovers :).

While I was really impressed by the live demos and the rovers I think the highlight of his talk was something else. The talk was built around the point that 'An individual alone cannot construct a skyscraper (a complex system), it takes a group of people specialized in different skills to do that'. This means that an individual's contribution, however small it may appear, is important to the group's success and we at Eclipse can take some credit (however small) for those Mars Rovers :).

10 years ago I was writing essays as part of 'Red Rover goes to Mars' project, while my essays did not make the cut then, I now write software which is used for controlling those Mars Rovers! Pretty neat, I say :)



  2. Recording of the last few minutes

  3. Socrates