According to a CMU news release, the CMU Robotics Institute has partnered with Astrobotic Technology, Inc. to prepare a NASA-sponsored study describing a lunar outpost constructed by robots. Small moon robots, described as the size of riding lawnmowers, would be used for tasks such as building a hard-surface landing pading and a surrounding semi-circular berm. Both structures would be constructed of indigenous materials (aka moon dirt). NASA expects the lunar outpost to be in operation by 2020. Meanwhile William "Red" Whittaker, CMU professor and Astrobotic's chief technical officer is running field trials on the companies first lunar robot. For more details, see Astrobotics report, Configuring Innovative Regolith Moving Techniques for Lunar Outposts (PDF format). More renderings of the robots and moonbase after the break.