Jeff Bezos generates buzz at MARS fest

Lindy Elkins-Tanton and Dava Newman
Arizona State University’s Lindy Elkins-Tanton and MIT’s Dava Newman face the camera during Amazon’s MARS conference. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is in the giant drone behind them. (Lindy Elkins-Tanton via Twitter)

Which is more viral, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos getting buzzed by a robotic dragonfly, or Bezos buzzing in Lift Aircraft’s Hexa passenger drone?

Those are just a couple of today’s highlights from Amazon’s annual invitation-only festival in Palm Springs, Calif., celebrating Machine learning, Automation, Robotics and Space. As usual, we’re on the outside looking in, based on tweets with the #MARS2019 hashtag and reports from those on the scene at The Parker Resort.

Lindy Elkins-Tanton, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University, has emerged as the most reliable tweeter about the MARS goings-on. She’s the one who tweeted out a video clip of Bezos keeping watch amid a crowd of attendees as a robo-dragonfly flitted around the conference grounds. She also shared imagery showing Bezos in the driver’s seat of Lift’s ultralight aircraft at the Palm Springs Air Museum.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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