Robots may take over polar exploration

Apr 06, 2006

The day may soon come when robots assume much of the responsibility for Antarctic exploration, U.S. scientists reported at a conference in Vienna.

The robots, with ranges of hundreds of miles, could be designed to perform scientific experiments on their own. U.S. engineers have already built a solar-powered prototype and tested it in Greenland, where it has "exceeded expectations," the BBC reported.

Plans call for building and deploying five robots by the end of 2007. James Lever, an engineer with the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H., told the BBC at the European Geosciences Union annual meeting the robots could perform scientific experiments where access for humans is difficult or expensive.

"There are two basic types of mission scenarios," said Lever. "One would be to stop the robot en route and take the data you need -- things like sampling for bacteria in the snow, measuring the atmosphere, or doing a glaciological survey with ground-penetrating radar.

"Then the other side is array-based sensor networks where you would deploy the instruments and then pick them up some time later."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Scars on Mars from 2012 rover landing fade—usually

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Solar Impulse departs Myanmar for China

1 hour ago

Solar Impulse 2 took off from Myanmar's second biggest city of Mandalay early Monday and headed for China's Chongqing, the fifth flight of a landmark journey to circumnavigate the globe powered solely by ...

Recommended for you

Europe resumes Galileo satnav deployment (Update)

Mar 27, 2015

Europe resumed deployment of its beleaguered Galileo satnav programme on Friday, launching a pair of satellites seven months after a rocket malfunction sent two multi-million euro orbiters awry.

More evidence for groundwater on Mars

Mar 27, 2015

Monica Pondrelli and colleagues investigated the Equatorial Layered Deposits (ELDs) of Arabia Terra in Firsoff crater area, Mars, to understand their formation and potential habitability. On the plateau, ...

Is the universe finite or infinite?

Mar 27, 2015

Two possiblities exist: either the Universe is finite and has a size, or it's infinite and goes on forever. Both possibilities have mind-bending implications.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.