Space Robotics

Shrinking Tretrahedral Walkers go to Mars

Posted 30 Mar 2005 at 17:12 UTC by steve Share This

Proving once again that R. Buckminster Fuller's fascination with tetrahedrons wasn't as eccentric as it seemed, Roland Piquepaille writes, "NASA is testing a shape-shifting robot called TETwalker for tetrahedral walker, because it looks like a flexible pyramid. It has been tested in the lab and at the McMurdo station in Antarctica to test it under conditions more like those on Mars. Now, it is on the way to be -- really -- miniaturized by using micro- and nano-electro-mechanical systems. These robots will eventually join together to form autonomous nanotechnology swarms (ANTS). When it's done, in about thirty years, these nanotech swarms will "alter their shape to flow over rocky terrain or to create useful structures like communications antennae and solar sails." So in 2034, nanotechnology will land on Mars." For more details on the TETwalker and ANTS project see Roland's blog.

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