Take 2: Advancements in rovers, permanent at-home employees


Hannah Gonzalez

The Take 2 series features brief weekly updates on the state or nation’s relevant news for the community.

Mini Rover: Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are testing a new Mini Rover that is designed to withstand certain terrains of different planets. The 3D-printed robot is similar to the NASA Resource Prospector mission rover, RP15, built at the Johnson Space Center in Houston that was cancelled in 2018. It uses the same concept of wheels that can wiggle and spin to loosen the rover from regolith, a soft soil found on Mars. 

Significance: The smaller, plastic version of the RP15 developed by Georgia Tech researchers is supported by NASA and funded by the Army Research Office. In 2009, the NASA Spirit Rover became stuck in the regolith on Mars and stopped communicating in 2010. The new wheels could help future missions, not only on Mars, but on the moon which has similar soil. 

Twitter employees: The social media company, Twitter, announced this week that it will allow some employees to continue to work from home permanently after the pandemic. CEO Jack Dorsey notified employees via email on Tuesday with the news. After the lockdown, workers can continue remotely if they choose unless their job requires in person tasks like maintaining servers. 

Significance: Twitter does not expect to open offices until September and will cancel any in-person events for the remainder of the year. This comes along with other companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon allowing employees to continue working from home for time after the pandemic, although not permanently. With these major companies adopting a new way of work, it could indicate a new way of conducting business worldwide.