UNITED STATES: On August 5, the NASA Curiosity Rover’s 10th Birthday, the “loneliest robot in the world,” described by Swedish lawn mower manufacturer Husqvarna, will break its birthday silence.
About 100,000 Husqvarna brand Automower robotic lawn mowers on Earth will be able to serenade Curiosity by playing Happy Birthday as it explores Gale Crater on Mars.
On August 5, 2012, the Mars-bound rover touched down for the first time on the planet. A year later, it used its own vibrational capabilities to hum a lone rendition of Happy Birthday. Though engineers claim that playing
Happy Birthday repeatedly each year has little scientific significance for Curiosity’s mission; that was the sole ‘Happy Birthday’ song played by the rover.
The rover will have other robots celebrating its Birthday because of Husqvarna. The tiny buzzer used by the company’s robotic lawn mowers was converted into a series of sine waves that play a happy tune using musical tones.
The company’s Automower Connect app allows owners of the approximately 100,000 Automower robotic lawn mowers with models 405X, 415X, and 435X AWD to download the software update. Their lawnmower will play the song on August 5 at noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m (UTS). Early in September, the update will be permanent, allowing users to play the music whenever they choose.
Curiosity Rover would undoubtedly appreciate the gesture from robotic lawn mowers worldwide if robots had feelings.
However, for the time being, the Mars robot is too occupied collecting scientific data about the red planet and lasting longer than planned to answer the question: Did this cold, dry, and lifeless planet ever host life.
Curiosity discovered chemical and mineral signs of previous habitable habitats on Mars early in the mission. Scientists are still using the rover to collect and analyze rock, soil, and air samples from the Gale Crater region of the planet.
Curiosity was built with one Mars year’s primary mission in mind, roughly equivalent to 23 Earth months. With a rock-vaporizing laser, 17 cameras, and a rocker-bogie suspension that enables the rover to maintain its stability while traversing uneven and rugged terrains, it is more than just a roving robot.
It is also a part geology lab. The rover is about the size of a small SUV, with dimensions of 10 feet long, 9 feet wide, and 7 feet tall (not including its extendable arm).