re:MARS


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The re:MARS conference focuses on Machine learning, Automation, Robotics and Space. Similar to the invitation-only MARS conference that it evolved from, the larger and public re:MARS conference brings together industry leaders from across these four domains. It also includes a Tech Showcase where companies can demonstrate their products and ideas.

James found the MARS conference super-interesting, and we were both looking forward to re:MARS in Las Vegas. Besides attending the several excellent keynotes, we spent time in the Tech Showcase where the many demonstrations and displays included an Indy Autonomous Challenge car, pictured above. And we had a great time watching a BattleBots tournament, where robots attempt to destroy or disable each other during one-on-one three-minute matches. Overall, we really enjoyed the event and Jennifer was particularly impressed at how far robot technology had advanced.

Below are highlights from June 20th through 23rd, 2022. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a map with our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

6/20/2022
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East Passage
View to East Passage, with Des Moines marina at bottom right and Vashon Island in the distance, as we fly from Seattle to Las Vegas for the re:MARS conference. Tramp Harbor, this side of Vashon Island at upper right, was one of our frequent “Unusual Puget Sound Anchorages” when we boated in the area.
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Mt. St. Helens
The distinctive horseshoe-shaped crater of 8,363-ft (2,549 m) Mt. St. Helens. The volcano erupted in 1980, removing the entire north face and top 1,300 ft (400 m) of the mountain, in the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S. history. The eruption killed 57 people and destroyed 200 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway.
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Mt. Hood
11,249 ft (3,429 m) Mt. Hood, where we were snowshoeing earlier this year.
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Mt. Jefferson
10,502 ft (3,201 m) Mt. Jefferson, the second-highest mountain in Oregon after Mt. Hood.
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Ivanpah
The solar power towers of the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility aglow in directed sunlight. The 392-megawatt facility includes 173,500 heliostats that turn to reflect sunlight to boilers located within the towers.
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Southern Highlands
The Southern Highlands Golf Club, southwest of Las Vegas, is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country with an average home price of $3.6M.
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Train
Taking in the view from the front of the train between terminals in the Las Vegas airport.
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Black-Tailed Jackrabbit
Sculpture of a black-tailed rabbit by David Phelps, one of five in the Desert Wildlife installation at the Las Vegas airport.
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ARIA Resort
Palm trees surrounding the pool at the ARIA resort in Las Vegas where we are staying for the re:MARS conference.
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Bellagio Conservatory
The plant-filled Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in the Bellagio Resort adjacent to the ARIA.
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Zoox
A specially-equipped Zoox Toyota Highlander driving through Las Vegas. The Amazon subsidiary makes purpose-built driverless taxis and tests on city streets using Highlanders equipped with sensors that mimic the driverless taxis.
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Catch
The dramatic tunnel entrance to Catch restaurant in the ARIA resort in Las Vegas.
6/21/2022
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Adam Savage
Adam Savage hosting the 2022 re:MARS conference in Las Vegas. Savage is a special effects designer, actor and producer best known for co-hosting the Discovery Channel shows Myth Busters and Unchained Reaction
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Tom Taylor
Tom Taylor, SVP of Amazon Alexa, on stage during the re:MARS conference Day 1 keynote describing how machine learning is as revolutionary for our time as other technologies such as the printing press, electricity and the internal combustion engine.
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Spot
Boston Dynamic’s Spot robot moving about in the Tech Showcase at re:MARS. The compact and nimble four-legged robot can easily go up stairs, and back down, can navigate obstacles and has a variety of gaits such crawling, walking, trotting and pacing.
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Indy Autonomous Challenge
Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) car on display at the 2022 re:MARS in Las Vegas. The IAC took place at Indianapolis Speedway in October of 2021 with full-sized, open-wheel driverless cars as a proving ground for autonomous vehicles. The winning team set a record for fastest autonomous care on a race course of 107 mph (173 kph). A second race was held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2022 as part of the CES conference.
6/22/2022
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Proteus
During the re:MARS conference Day 2 keynote, Amazon announced Proteus, the company’s first fully autonomous mobile robot. Proteus is designed to safely work in warehouses alongside employees, easing their physical burden while improving productivity. Here the diminutive green robot is carrying a large blue package cart across the stage.
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Robot
Tye Brady, Chief Technologist of Amazon Robotics, on stage during the re:MARS conference Day 2 keynote with Agility Robotics bipedal robot Digit. The robot is targeting repetitive human work that can be more cost-effectively and safely done by a robot. Rather than redesigning the workspace to fit the robot, Agility designed a robot that is able to work safely around people and can take on process paths designed for humans.

James spent time with the Agility Robotics team at the MARS conference and was impressed with its capability. Here’s a video of Digit at work: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/ikaSYti1KOQ.

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Airrow
This Airrow Dronehub on display at the re:MARS Tech Showcase caught our attention. Dronehub is an automated battery recharging and payload swapping technology designed to replace manual ground operations. We met Airrow CEO and founder Menachem Fehler, and James is quite interested in their technology.
6/23/2022
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Dawn
The dawn view east from our hotel room at the ARIA Resort in Las Vegas.
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Jean Georges Steakhouse
A delicious meal at Jean Georges Steakhouse in the ARIA Resort.
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re:MARS Party
One of several good live bands on stage at the re:MARS conference after party, held outdoors at Caesars Entertainment Studios in Las Vegas.
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Drummer
Drummer at the re:MARS conference after party. His mesmerizing act combined synthesized audio and video, using a camera mounted about his drum.
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BattleBots
The highlight of the re:MARS after party was an exciting and entertaining BattleBots robot tournament, where robots attempt to destroy or disable each other during one-on-one three-minute matches. The matches take place in a large plexiglass-enclosed cage to protect the viewing audience. In this picture, the match-winning blue robot Blip at bottom left has flipped the robot Whiplash several feet in the air.
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Control Room
The BattleBots production control room behind the competition cage.
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Evening View
A final view east from our hotel room at the ARIA Resort over the city lights of Las Vegas on the final night of the 2022 re:MARS conference. We really enjoyed the event and Jennifer was particularly impressed at how far robot technology had advanced.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map. And a map of our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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