Science & Technology

NASA unveils a skill for Amazon’s Alexa that lets you ask questions about Mars

Amazon’s Alexa has gained many expertise over the previous yr, reminiscent of having the ability to learn tweets or ship election outcomes and fantasy soccer scores. Beginning on Wednesday, you’ll be capable of ask Alexa about Mars.

The brand new skill for the voice-controlled speaker comes courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It’s the primary Alexa app from the area company.

Tom Soderstrom, the chief expertise officer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was available on the AWS re:invent convention in Las Vegas tonight to make the announcement.

In response to Soderstrom, the “NASA Mars” skill is a part of an outreach effort to get individuals extra excited by Mars.

“Tomorrow you’ll be capable of use Amazon Dots and your Amazon Echos, and you can ask questions about Mars,” Soderstrom mentioned tonight. “That is all about exploring and getting crowd-sourcing and getting individuals to grasp and care about Mars and ask new questions.”

Alexa has already been capable of deal with questions about Mars, reminiscent of how far-off it’s. (The reply is 133 million miles.) When the NASA skill is enabled, Alexa’s repertoire is widened to permit queries like these:

Soderstrom additionally teased an upcoming demonstration of ROV-E, a miniaturized model of the Mars exploration rover. The lovable little rover is controllable both with a joystick or with Alexa instructions, and you can ask it questions about Mars as properly.

The rover is constructed with generally obtainable elements, and NASA is making the blueprint obtainable so that faculties, universities, museums and do-it-yourself varieties can construct their very own rovers.

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