Post Thumbnail

The last time humanity tried to explore a comet, things didn't go so well -- the ESA comet lander Philae bounced during touchdown and wound up under a cliff, unable to right itself. Eventually its batteries ran down we lost contact. A sad way to end the mission, but we can't say that we didn't lea...

20 hours ago 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

It's going to be a little while before humanity sets foot on Mars, but in the meantime NASA has a bundle of robots exploring the planet for us. The data they're collecting is valuable, but now researchers want to give their operators greater control. Specifically, they're interested in force feedb...

August 31st 2015 at 9:45am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

In a possible bid to make the most stylish entry yet for Google's Lunar XPRIZE, Audi has announced that it's teaming up with Part-Time Scientists, a German team working to put its rover on the moon. The carmaker says it's providing the Quattro's four-wheel drive tech, as well as expertise in light...

June 26th 2015 at 4:31am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Forget those teensy deep-sea submersibles cradling crews of brave scientists -- the future of underwater exploration might be led by robots that can do their own thing. MIT engineers, led by professor Brian Williams, cooked up a system that lets autonomous underwater drones figure out and act on t...

May 8th 2015 at 1:21pm 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA's Curiosity rover isn't done finding signs that Mars once had the prime ingredients for life... not by a longshot. The explorer robot has discovered evidence of nitrates, the nitrogen compounds that are some of the key nutrients for life, in rocks at three places near its landing site. This...

March 24th 2015 at 9:28am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

The Curiosity rover's drilling career is in danger. Its robotic arm has been having sporadic short circuits ever since late February. Its issues started on February 27th, when a surge of current shut down the the rover while it was processing some samples. After running a couple of tests, NASA pin...

March 7th 2015 at 7:24am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

It's no secret that scientists want the Curiosity rover to drill into Mars more often. However, it first has to learn how to drill properly -- until now, it was so aggressive that it sometimes broke the rocks it was trying to sample. Thankfully, NASA has a fix. It recently started testing a new dr...

February 24th 2015 at 10:33am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

The Lunar Xprize challenge isn't just meant to reward the first team that lands a private rover on the Moon -- it's there to give some encouragement along the way, too. Accordingly, Google and Xprize have just handed out a total of $5.25 million to five competitors for hitting milestones in imagin...

January 26th 2015 at 9:00am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

Rovers have a tough time getting across Mars' vast, unforgiving landscape. They can't see very far ahead, and the crew back home can only offer so much help by looking at orbital imagery. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory may have a clever solution to that problem, though: an aerial robot scout. It...

January 26th 2015 at 1:17am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA and Nissan believe they've got a lot to learn from each other when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology. So, the two have decided to team up for the next five years and develop a self-driving system that they can use not just on Earth, but also in space. A team of scientists from both or...

January 9th 2015 at 3:04am 0 Comments
Post Thumbnail

NASA's Curiosity rover is still going strong on the red planet, observing the atmosphere and analyzing soil samples for the sake of future missions. For instance, the agency has revealed that the rover has sniffed out sudden methane spikes in the atmosphere sometime in late 2013 and early 2014, co...

December 17th 2014 at 6:19am 0 Comments