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To: Markiann, Emily, Christopher, Caitlin, Stanley, David, Matthew, Joe,
and Ms. Waltz:

Your design has lots of great ideas in it, and many of the parts you
picked are similar to the ones that we picked on our project. In fact, we
actually thought about using the Evolution vision system, though we ended
up going with a different company. We are also using a speech system very
similar to the IBM software you picked.

You also did a good job of solving some of the important problems -- your
design includes a number of small components (like the CPU and base) and a
wireless communication system that would let the robot move where ever it
wants. The spectrometer and the night vision are also really good ideas.
Some things you might think about are parts that might not work because of
the robot's "environment" (the space station). In order to use wheels, the
robot would need to be on a surface, but without gravity, you would need
something to hold the wheels against the walls or floor. GPS is a
fantastic idea, but it only works here on earth, not on the space station.
That is not a big problem, though, because the vision system should be
able to do the navigation. Similarly, solar doesn't work because there are
very small windows and half of the time the earth is in the way of seeing
the sun. The batteries, however, should solve this problem.
All in all, you have parts that could make up a great design. You might
want to spend some time trying to draw what the robot might look like
using all of the parts you chose. One problem that we had was that, when
we tried to design it using all of the parts we wanted, all of the parts
didn't fit!

I'm impressed with your design -- it is one of the most thorough that we
received. I also think the astronauts will like the video games. They
don't have a lot of free time, but it would make what little time they
have more fun.

Feel free to ask us more questions. The best way to solve a problem is to
really understand it. Keep up the good work.
-- Salvatore Domenick Desiano
Research Scientist


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