WHERE ARE COMPUTERS USED TODAY????
Today, small computer chips that give instructions via electrical impulses are present in almost all the devices such as cars, televisions, coffee machines, and mobile phones that we use daily. They also control the robots that explore inaccessible areas such as volcanoes. Even on the distant planet of Mars, the exploration vehicle ‘Sojourner’ could be controlled with the help of computer. Nanorobots help doctors in fighting diseases. Without computer chips there would be no CD-ROMs or simulation programs, which are frequently used for training and research purposes.
HOW DO ROBOTS EXPLORE VOLCANOES????
In 1994, a climbing robot by the name of Dante II was sent for the first time to explore the interior of a volcanic crater in Alaska. After entry into the crater, the measuring devices and cameras, hidden in the legs of the robot, started exploring the dangerous terrain. By analyzing the data and the images received from the surroundings, an onboard computer calculated each step of the robot. It was able to overcome boulders as high as 1 m and descended 70 m deep in the volcano before crashing. Fortunately, it had sent all the data collected and the images to the research station via satellite before it crashed.
WHO CONTROLLED THE ROBOT ‘SOJOURNER’ ON MARS????
Sojourner, the small exploration vehicle that landed on Mars in July 1997, was controlled by the ground station of the American space authority NASA. Commands were sent to the Sojourner from there. It was asked to travel over the surface of Mars, take photographs, soil samples, and lots more. There were glitches too. On the first day, Sojourner collided with a rock because it was travelling too fast. And sometimes the computer onboard ‘rebooted’ so the robot ‘forgot’ what it was supposed to do.
HOW DOES A CD-ROM WORK????
A CD-ROM is a plastic disc with a thin aluminium layer from which music, texts, and other data can be retrieved. Like everything else in the world of computers, these files are also stored in the numeric sequence of 1 and 0. In this case, there are tiny grooves for 1 or none for 0. A laser beam in the reader scans these grooves, which reflect the laser beam in different ways. From these laser reflections, the chip in the computer or in the CD player deciphers the data present on the CD, which could be music, text, photos, or complete programs.
WHERE IS A SIMULATION PROGRAM USED????
Simulation programs are used for training in areas where the possibility of something going wrong is very dangerous. For instance, a trainee pilot does not fly an aircraft just after training. Before that he practices at a simulator , which behaves like an aircraft , but is on the ground so it does not crash if the pilot makes a mistake. We can also simulate a fault in a power plant or a tsunami. Traineer must demonstrate that they can handle the crisis effectively.
DID YOU KNOW THAT??????
• THE MARS ROBOT ‘ SOJOURNER’ WAS LAUNCHED IN DECEMBER 1996, BUT LANDED ON MARS AFTER 7 MONTHS..
• A DVD CAN STORE THE CONTENTS OF 25 CDs.. THE REASON FOR THIS IS THAT THE DATA GROOVES ON A DVD ARE VERY CLOSE TO ONE ANOTHER.
• A FOOTBALL WORLD CUP FOR ROBOTS WAS ALSO HELD DURING THE WORLD CUP FOOTBALL IN 2006.. IN THE OPENING GAME, GERMANY DEFEATED JAPAN BY 3:0..
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