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NASA's six-legged ATHLETE bot will roam the moon

Evan Blass

Mars isn't the only heavenly body that NASA is trying to colonize with robots: the US space agency is currently working on a prototype rover named ATHLETE that may be cruising around the moon within the next decade. Short for All Terrain Hex Limbed Extra Terrestrial Explorer, ATHLETE sports six wheeled "legs" attached to a hexagonal frame loaded with cameras and sensors, allowing an Earth-bound operator to get a 360-degree sense of his or her surroundings. While the current iteration is only half as big as the final version will be, this rover will eventually be able to land and carry up to 20 tons of gear -- but without any sort of onboard defense system, it will probably stand little chance against the first Decepticon attack. Video after the break...

[Via MAKE]

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