MOFFETT FIELD, Calif.--In a festival that is now celebrated in various forms around the world to recognize the 50th anniversary of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's first human journey into space, more than 6,000 students from around the Bay Area visited NASA's Ames Research Center here for Yuri's Education Day.
With games, a scavenger hunt, and tours of a supersonic F-104 Starfighter, NASA opened its hangar doors to foster the spirit of exploration and education.
Geoff Chiu operates a robot made using a Motorola phone, showing how cell phones can contribute to the field of robotics.
Chiu says cell phones are an ideal base for a starting point in robotics. Cell phones (essentially small computers and integrated transmission systems) are relatively inexpensive, advanced computers which have already been built with many of the components needed for a robot, including cameras, compasses, GPS, communications systems, and reliable power supply.
In addition to the F-104 Starfighter, an H-60 Black Hawk helicopter, and a C-130 Hercules turboprop from the California Air National Guard, the fire crews at NASA Ames brought out some of their equipment including the Crash 10 emergency response vehicle, shown here.