I knew that when I arrived in Chile, I would have to learn how to translate in order to communicate more effectively. What I did not expect was that I would need to translate the communications from my colleagues back in Pittsburgh as well. Witness this gem from an online "talk" session with graduate student John Murphy at the Carnegie Science Center:
"rpver [octres. te;e,etru wodgets. [amps[jeroc. etc// ;pts pf redb;ie ;ogjts. veru veru stramge/"
"wgat was u trtubg ti tty(Argh!).."
I'll leave you with this little cryptographic puzzle for now; there will be a hint at the bottom of this summary.
Today we put Nomad through some additional locomotion and antenna pointing tests. We had to redo some of the tests from yesterday, and intended to finish all of them today, but were stymied by a problem with a pinion in the left rear wheel. We managed to get things going again, but unfortunately had to disable the motor in that wheel. So once again we have a great opportunity to test Nomad in three-wheel drive.
In the latest batches of visitors, we welcomed half a dozen people from the San Pedro police department and a schoolbus full of kids. They were all very interested in seeing Nomad, in spite of the challenge of getting their vehicles out into the rugged terrain (or perhaps because of it). It is always impressive to see a yellow schoolbus head into off-road terrain.
It seems the visitors to the volcano had problems of their own during their hike. Since the peak is at a much greater altitude, they all experienced headaches during the climb. And when they stopped to have dinner they found that their rice had not softened in over 45 minutes of boiling; at 4000 meters water boils at a lower temperature, which is apparently not high enough to cook rice grains.
In addition to the experiments today, Nomad drove itself 1121 meters autonomously. And to solve today's puzzle, think about what happens if you try to type in the dark without looking at the screen, if your right hand is shifted just a bit to the right.