Christian Long

Bill Stone: Explores the World’s Deepest Caves

In TED Talks on April 20, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Reflection by RACHEL M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Bill Stone:  Explores the World’s Deepest Caves

The unpolluted crystal pools miles beneath the earth. The vast swirling cosmos and a glacial moon that may hold the first trace of life off our planet. Places completely unsoiled by human contact, and sparkling untouched gems of discovery. All of these are dream-scapes in the story of Bill Stone’s passion. Some coming closer and closer to reality before his eyes with the many cave expeditions that have already come to fruition by his hands.

At first glance, I was drawn to this video because of my fascination with geology, but I was handed that and so much more with in a few minutes. Soon this video became a stepping stone into the future of inter-planetary life, and Bill stone’s ideas transitioned into a whole other realm of discovery.

I don’t want to spoil any of the surprise, but here is what I am obliged to tell you:

Bill Stone takes you miles beneath the earth’s surface to a base camp that would be black as space save for minute artificial illumination. Into abysses and chambers that seems to stretch on without end. To the breaking points of human endurance and to devastating remoteness. To places where water fills the Earth’s crevices and Bill is forced to become an inventor, and go (forgive my cliche) where no humans had previously gone before, and create robots to go where no human has ever gone.

Bill stone then succeeds in the first fully autonomous robotic underground exploration. His creation, DEPTH-X, has 36 on board computers, over 100,000 lines of behavioral autonomy codes and a TNT equivalent of 10 kilos. It functions on it’s own and makes decisions based on the environment using it’s complex sensory. In a matter of time, it will be tested in Antarctica, and with the resolution of NASA, hopefully be sent to Jupiter’s moon Europa by 2016. And if all goes well, by 2019 there will be the first evidence of life off our planet. Needless to say, this information sent shivers down my spine.

So what of Man’s space exploration?

I would consider it a great injustice to spoil anymore of this for you. Bill Stone will take you to our greatest frontier and the facts will blow you away. But so will the resolve of one man.

Not only was this video intensely absorbing, it captivated my imagination. If you are so inclined, I would highly recommend venturing into the abyss of Bill Stone’s exploration and perhaps into the boundless reaches of the universe itself.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: