Sep 27, 2019

NASA’s rolling Shapeshifter robot concept splits into two drones

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, alien life, drones, robotics/AI

When NASA’s Cassini performed more than 100 flybys of Saturn’s moon Titan, scientists piecing together the data began forming a picture of a pretty treacherous environment, with liquid methane rain, cold rivers and icy volcanoes all potentially part of the mix. The agency’s scientists are already at work developing vehicles that will one day be used to explore such surrounds, with its newly revealed Shapeshifter robot another interesting example.

The Shapeshifter is a developmental concept at this early stage, and is designed to change its shape depending on the type of alien terrain it encounters. The team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have 3D printed a prototype of the robot that is already capable of some impressive maneuvers.

NASA’s thinking with the Shapeshifter is that it will actually be made up of a number of smaller robots, which can self-assemble into a larger machine and disassemble again as the mission calls for it.

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