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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Robo Reptiles and Slither Bots

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, September 22, 2013/Categories: space science, art and design, environment

There's an old adage in the space science that says: "No Buck Rogers, no bucks". The comment means that no money will be available without some guy in a space suit. It may be passe now.

Humans in space require food and water, a non-lethal radiation environment, and are expensive to maintain. Robots are cheap, easier to design, and are more flexible to move around. Strange and currently unavailable environments on Mars, Europa, or any of the distant moons of Saturn would be open for exploration if they were utilized.
The European Space Agency is showing the way with a new project to develop robotic "snakes" to explore on Mars for signs of life.

Current robot explorers are large, slow, need flat landscapes to roam, and cost billions of dollars to develop and transport to Mars. By contrast, small and cheap robots, based on engineered designs using bio-mimicry of natural life forms such as snakes, centipedes, turtles, geckos, or any myriad of other living designs, is limited only by the imagination. Equipped with smart photographic, video, and chemical senors programmed to detect specific compounds the use of these flexible robots is virtually unlimited.

A video of one design being investigated by researchers at SINTEF ,a technology institute in Norway, is being considered by the ESA.

So here's to the ESA and let's hope they will launch their robo-reptiles and slither-bots ASAP. There are heaps of unknown landscapes on Mars to explore and cool biological discoveries to be made.


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