Intelligent Robots To Be A Larger Part Of Space Exploration

Oct 07, 2005

Meet Gromit and K-9. They are the two latest robots NASA is using to help improve space exploration. Although they may look similar to the robots already on Mars, Gromit and K-9 have much more complex, built-in intelligence.

Loaded with sophisticated software, cameras and spectrometers, these robots can do in 15 minutes what now takes three days.

Dr. Liam Pederson is a researcher for NASA. "So that robot there can go to one rock every 15 minutes and actually go to a whole bunch of them and really systematically explore Mars and look for life in a manner which we can't yet do with the vehicles there."

The new robots can take samples, gather information and record images. The data can be sent back to Earth almost instantaneously, giving scientists vital information much more quickly. Gromit can even talk with astronauts by voice recognition.

The goal is to develop many more high-tech robots before the next mission to the moon in roughly 12 more years. If successful, the robots will have enough autonomy and artificial intelligence to take space exploration further than ever before.

NASA scientist David Smith explains. "That's really our job here is to do the stuff that's, you know, out a little bit beyond the horizon and demonstrate that we can actually make it work."

The robots will be able to build habitats for future human pioneers, pinpoint promising target regions for joint human-machine exploration and even warn of potentially dangerous areas that might be OK for a machine, but too perilous for humans to approach.

Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

Explore further: Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA approves space station supply launch

Apr 13, 2014

NASA is pressing ahead with Monday's planned launch of a supply ship despite a critical computer outage at the International Space Station, determining the situation is safe.

Startup creates underwater robotics with a human touch

Apr 08, 2014

It should be just as easy to use a robotic arm as it is to use your own hand. That's the thinking behind University of Washington startup BluHaptics, which is taking telerobotics—controlling robots from ...

NASA set to debut online software catalog April 10

Apr 05, 2014

(Phys.org) —Get ready for a stimulating software catalog. You may want to write NASA CAT. next to Thursday, April 10, on your calendar. That is the day that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ...

Recommended for you

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

2 hours ago

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

4 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Let's put a sailboat on Titan

7 hours ago

The large moons orbiting the gas giants in our solar system have been getting increasing attention in recent years. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only natural satellite known to house a thick atmosphere. ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.