Transformer-like Superbot

With the sequel to the Transformers movie in the theaters this summer, I suppose that people would be interested in knowing that a transformer-like robot is already in existence here on Earth.  It is not able to transform into a slick-looking sports car, but it is able to change its shape in a basic, but amazing way.  As you can see in the photo links below, the superbot can assume a snake-like appearance or a more humanoid shape.  NASA has been interested in this robot as the next potential explorer of a planetary surface.  The superbot could land in pieces and then assemble itself into a rover.  Click on the link below to see the entire article on


Photo Credit: Shen/USC

Researchers hope that modular robots might one day decide when and where to transform.


Photo Credit: Shen/USC

Superbot: The Real Transformer
Tue, 23 Jun 2009 19:00:11 GMT

Robot Scouts May Assist Humans in the Exploration of the Moon

Robots have been the trailblazers in space exploration.  In particular, Ranger, Surveyor, and the Lunar Orbiters paved the way to the lunar landings in the Apollo Program.  Now, tests are planned to see if robot scouts can aid human explorers on future missions to the Moon.  What these current and future robots will do that sets them apart from the earlier machines is that they will work closely with the humans on the moon’s surface. 

During Apollo surface operations, the astronauts did recon and geological exploration at the same time.  In the return to the Moon around 2020, robots will be tasked to reconnaissance.  This should make the astronauts work more productive.  During the upcoming testing of the K10, researchers hope to show that robots can increase the science return of the human missions.  Check out the article at the link below for more information.

K10 Rover

Credit: NASA Image

K10 Rover during testing on Devon Island at the Haughton Mars Project Research Station in July 2007.  Robotic Recon experiment will investigate how robots can improve the productivity and science return of human missions. Why …

Robotic Reconnaissance May Improve Human Exploration of the Moon – SpaceRef
Thu, 11 Jun 2009 19:37:00 GMT

Robotic Ants Building Homes on Mars? – ICT Results

ICT Results

Robots based on life forms such as insects are the model for most swarm-type robot systems.  This is just one more example of that idea.  Small machines that work together for some larger purpose bring efficiency to space robotic explorers. 

This efficiency comes from the fact that such systems as these can actually adapt themselves to multiple functions.  At least this is how I see this developing.  These robot systems can be used for many applications, but may have found their "home" in exploring other planets.

For more on this, read the article listed below.

Robotic ants building homes on Mars?
ICT Results, Belgium – 54 minutes ago
Robot swarms are particularly useful in situations where you need high redundancy. If one robot malfunctions or is damaged it does not cause the mission to

Robotic ants building homes on Mars? – ICT Results
Mon, 20 Oct 2008 22:02:16 GMT

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New mission for Mars robot


This is a mission that the robotic visitor to the Red Planet may not complete.  Officials at the Jet Propulsion Lab realize the difficulty of the long trip.  See the JPL press release.  The Sun has a report on the journey and the robotic explorer which will attempt it.

THE NASA robot roaming Mars is set to embark on a two-year mission to reach a giant crater on the planet. The Mars rover Opportunity needs to travel seven miles to reach the crater, named Endeavor.  See the rest of the article here.

New mission for Mars robot – The Sun
Fri, 17 Oct 2008 06:17:00 GMT

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Future of flagship Mars mission up in the air – Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Will NASA's flagship mission to Mars fly next year? The space agency could decide as early as Friday whether to cancel, delay or proceed with plans to launch a nuclear-powered, SUV-size rover to the red planet. NASA has already …

Future of flagship Mars mission up in the air – Associated Press
Sun, 12 Oct 2008 09:14:00 GMT

Update to the entry from yesterday.  This project could be in trouble.  Hopefully, only a delay and not an outright cancellation.

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