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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spherical micro-robots could explore Mars

Proposed Robo Spheres
Proposed Robo Spheres
Credit: Newscientistsspace
Steven Dubowsky of MIT with financial backing from NASA has proposed utilizing small spherical robots to explore Mars and other planets. The robots would move by rolling and bouncing, powered by artificial muscles that alter their overall shape.Though a mission ustilizing these bots may be 10 or more years away scientists are almost ready to begin testing the robots. Such robots would be able to go places regular robots cannot such as caves and small fissures in the ground. The robots can be aligned to relay messages from one to another so communication outside the cave can be possible with a probe as deep as a kilometer. The proposed robots would be able to work like a swarm meaning if a few robots fail it still wouldnt effect the mission as a whole. Since the robots would communicate with each other and potentially determine their own next objective, "The role of ground control crews would change", Dubowsky predicts.

(More At Newscientists )

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