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Technology - Robots and android humanoids

Robots in space


Robot space explorers

No longer exclusively the realm of science fiction, sending robots out into space has become a reality in the last couple of decades. Perhaps they are not robots in the sense of androids or humanoid robots but they certainly are automated machines, programmed to perform specific tasks, to respond to situations and so forth.

The next generation of these robot explorers have already landed on Mars and are exploring this world for us, albeit in a limited way. Future generations of robot space explorers may prepare mining and other exploitations, dig for water and even build us habitats, ready for us to move in.

As mentioned before (see Robot Introduction), using robots as space explorers, space habit builders and robot miners has enormous advantages over sending humans. Robots require significantly less in terms of "living and working" in hostile environments such as space and other planets, than humans do, being much more cost effective initially.

However, as we have already seen with the Mars and Moon missions, when things do not go according to plan, for whatever reason, it's quite difficult, if not impossible, to make repairs or amendments, and the mission, including the robots and other equipment, is basically lost.

Robotic space explorers should therefore be seen purely as an aide to humans in space for the near future. They do exceedingly well in space itself but less so on planetary soil or environments.

 

Robots and space technology

The Nanorover 3 from JPL, space robot explorers - Links999.
The Nanorover 3 from JPL, designed to be used for robotic space exploration. (c) JPL.

Gofor, with active center of gravity compensation.
Gofor, with active center of gravity compensation. (c) JPL.

The ARES (Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey), a robot glider that could be used to explore other worlds with an atmosphere, for example Mars. (c) NASA.


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