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Topic of issue

The topic of this issue is robotics – from the frst ideas to the state of the art machines assisting man in increasingly many situations. The texts included in this issue speak of the beginning steps in developing robotics, the mechanics and programming of robots, the potential for artifcial speech, and artistic creation. A separate topic is the use of robots in robotic aircrafts and robots in space and their movement on the surface of other cosmic bodies. Finally, there is a presentation of the current state of robotics in Serbia.

For 45 years, the Institute “Mihailo Pupin “ in Belgrade has had a Robotics laboratory. So far, the lab focused mostly on its medical program, the lab also produced industrial robots, and has developed robotic software. Over the recent 3 or 4 years, several tens of students and professors from a number of scientifcally and technologically developed countries have gone through the Centre for Robotics. Over the past ten years the Laboratory has achieved signifcant results in research and developing artifcial intelligence and cognitive skills. Work is currently in progress on hybrid robotic systems, nonpilot aircrafts, antiterrorist robots, and robots for testing and work in highrisk locations.

Populating the space

The article titled “Come to Mars and Stay Forever” speaks of plans for fights and population of Mars by people. It started off as the “Mars Project” Werner fon Brown in 1952, and then as NASA ideas from the end of 1960's based on nuclear-thermal drive NERVA, to Soviet programs from 1989 and machines based on solarionic drive.

The text presents the plan of three US experts which imply fying to Mars directly, with atmospheric breaking. Plans are that the “Red Plant”, apart from staying there and testing, would also be used for production of fuel for the return trip, based on nuclear reactor that would travel with the crew.

Since 2005, the idea of building a permanent human settlement on Mars is becoming more prominent. The frst mission would consist of young married couples, and every year a new cosmic ship would be coming with new settlers, so that over a decade a settlement would be established with newly born children, born on Mars. So fat about a thousand volunteers have applied for such a mission!

Traces of unfathomable matter

The experience of the existence of some unknown matter in space implies the disintegration of neuron star. Created within a supernova, this incredibly thick matter would demonstrate strange behaviour, which can not be replicated in laboratory conditions. Now, based on observation by means of powerful telescopes, it seems that these stars break like wine glasses, which explains intermittent unusual cosmic lights. Research was performed by scientists of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


Hybrid solar photovoltaic collectors

The hybrid solar PVT collectors have already been developed which will operate by using both electricity and water, and bring solar energy to our daily lives. So far there have been different systems: thermal collectors, which used solar energy to produce hot water, and photovoltaic collectors which directly turned solar energy to electricity. The new idea is to put together these two systems. This would bring along a number of advantages: greater level of utilization, power generation in one collector unit, more effcient use of roof surfaces, lower price of electricity.

Egg-shaped buildings

Egg-shaped buildings which are designed for construction in highly developed countries are best suited to achieve energy effciency.

Examples of such buildings already exist in London, Beijing, Shanghai, Bombay, and others. “Cyber culture of reality”, as these new architectural forms are named, enable people to design their own view of the world. Egg-shaped buildings prevent over-heating caused by the sun, the buildings require 10-20% less fooring and much less pillars, therefore less investment.

Infections among pre-school children

Infections among the youngest age groups, the most recent knowledge regarding it and the relevant therapeutical procedures -these are the topics that dr Tanja Majkić, paediatrician of the General Hospital Bel Medic is speaking about. As the most frequent disorders of this kind among children which dr Majkić is explaining include: infections of the upper respiratory tract, tonsillitis, bronchiolitis and bronchitis, urinary infections.
Dr Majkić puts special emphasis on the need to exercise precaution in taking antipyretics and antibiotics, infections during the frst month of infancy and ear infections.

Dermatological oncology

Dr Snežana Đorić, dermatologist in the Bel Medic General Hospital in Belgrade, is presenting the causes of occurrence and spreading of skin tumours, as well as diagnostic and treatment methods. There are nu-merous internal and external factors leading to disease: from excessive and uncontrolled exposure to ultraviolet radiation, through organic disorders to exposure to chemical substances. A part of the article refers to diagnostics, the stages in the development of the disease and treatment, dermatoscopy, histological tests, surgery, criotherapy, photodynamic and radiation therapy.

Giant molecular freezer

When one hears the word Siberia, the frst association is often the endless space of snow and ice. However, the most recent research indicates that Siberia used to be the refuge and storage for plants and animals to protect against cruel cold of the last ice age. The text speaks of the scientifc DNA tests of old materials covering the then balance of plant and animal world. Such discoveries could help anticipate the future adaptation to climate changes. The frozen soil of Siberia, Alaska and Canada preserves the DNA of prehistoric life forms.

Scientists from Copenhagen have managed, using fossils and remains of pollen, to reconstruct the plant life around the lake Taimir, in northern Siberia. Based on 18 samples found in 5 locations, the Danish scientists have identifed the past existence of 66 plant species.

Extinct species
Arab ostrich (Struthio camelus syriacus)

The Arab ostrich which used to live in the territory of present time Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Sinai. The site of Tel Michal, in Israel, during the 1970's, research led to fnding 15 eggs of this bird in nests, of which 5 were intact.

Ostriches were not hunted for eating purposes, but for the feathers which were used for decoration and cooling, the skin was used to make knives, and the egg shell was used as cups, and were subsequently found also in Mycenaean and Ethrurian tombs. The species became extinct after the greater presence of north-African ostrich.


Colours of butterfies

The abundance of symmetry of numberless hues seen on butterfy wings indicate a series of functions. Firstly, mimicry and the need to enable butterfies to blend into the environment and thus be protected against birds of prey. If danger appears, the butterfies briefy spread their front wings and bright colours appear. Another role is to use colours as signals that butterfies may be poisonous to eat and most birds of prey decide to look for other food.

One of the most sensitive moment in the life of an insect is surviving un-favourable seasons. Insects perform their metabolic functions only under certain temperatures, and these differ from one insect to another. That is why they had to fnd ways to survive cold seasons. The text discusses butterfies in Serbia.

Secretive Aqueduct

The frst pressurized water supply in the New World was constructed in Palenque, a town in Mexico, during the Maya period, in the 7th century AD. Research indicates that the Maya had empirical knowledge on closed channel water systems.

Due to extra light, the tops of Maya sites had mica placed on top to shimmer in the sunlight. An example of this is the Maya pyramid in Copan, Honduras.

Throughout Greece there are about 16 pyramids, much smaller in scale than those in Egypt or Latin America. Some of them (pyramid Helenicona) are supposed to be older than those in Egypt. So far there is no evidence that could point to the role of pyramids in ancient Greece.




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