The challenge in this activity is much like the challenge of controlling a rover on Mars. The rover controllers have to use very precise language to guide the rover in its tasks. In addition, the communication delay between Earth and Mars is about 20 minutes. If a command is not clear, the operators won’t know that the rover did something wrong for a long time.
The engineers also must ensure that they are using the same point of reference. When they say “on the right”, they need to know whose right they are talking about. Otherwise, they might get a mirror image.
Current research in computer science is aimed at creating systems that understand “natural language”, being able to determine intent based on a set of common goals.
Mess Kits are single-serving experiments that allow kids to explore scientific concepts at their own pace. Visitors are encouraged to complete as many as they want! See all Mess Kits.