Robots walk, talk, brew beer and take over CES tech show

AvatarMind shows developed service robots like iPal, a fully functional humanoid robot with a friendly, playful demeanor, at CES in Las Vegas. (AP)
Updated 10 January 2019
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Robots walk, talk, brew beer and take over CES tech show

LAS VEGAS: Robots that walk, talk, brew beer and play ping pong have taken over the CES gadget show in Las Vegas again.
Just don’t expect to find one in your home any time soon.
Most home robot ventures have failed, in part because they’re so difficult and expensive to design, says venture capitalist Bilal Zuberi. But robots with more focused missions such as mowing the lawn stand a better chance.
At CES, the robots on display did everything from keeping your pets company to watching over seniors and delivering interoffice mail.


Russian scientists find defect in new heavy lift space rocket engine

Updated 18 January 2019
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Russian scientists find defect in new heavy lift space rocket engine

  • The new heavy lift space rocket is capable of carrying more than 20 tons into the orbit
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said the project is very important for the country's defense

MOSCOW: Scientists have discovered a defect in the engines of Russia’s new flagship heavy lift space rocket that could destroy it in flight, an apparent setback to a project President Vladimir Putin has said is vital for national security.
The Angara A5, which was test-launched in 2014, is being developed to replace the Proton M as Russia’s heavy lift rocket, capable of carrying payloads bigger than 20 tons into orbit. A launch pad for the new rocket is due to open in 2021.
In July, Putin said the Angara A5 had “huge significance” for the country’s defense and called on space agency Roscosmos to work more actively on it and to meet all its deadlines.
The issue with the Angara A5 was brought to attention by scientists at rocket engine manufacturer Energomash in a paper ahead of a space conference later this month.
The paper, reported by RIA news agency on Friday and published online, said the engines of the Angara A5 could produce low frequency oscillations that could ultimately destroy the rocket.
A special valve had been fitted to mitigate the issue, but in some cases the oscillations continued, it said. Energomash did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Russia’s space program has been dogged by mishaps in recent years, including failed cargo delivery missions into space and the aborted launch in October of the manned Soyuz mission to the International Space Station. Russia’s current heavy lift rocket, the Proton M, has had a nearly 10 percent failure rate in more than 100 launches since it entered service in 2001, creating pressure to reorganize and improve the space program.