A Colorado Daily article describes a new type of robot that will be used to study complex ecosystems. Bill Kaiser came up with the idea of small, solar-powered robots that move above the forest on a network of wires at up to 20MPH. The robots can also lower themselves on self-contained fibers much like a spider to examine activity lower down in the forest. Working with UCLA and the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) an NFS grant was obtained for the project, known as the Networked InfoMechanical System (NIMS). CENS does a lot of other interesting R & D on robotics and remote sensing for use in studying the environment. For more info on NIMS and photos of the robots, see the UCLA press release.