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SnoMote robots could autonomously explore Antarctic

Nilay Patel

We've seen a couple robotic efforts to explore the Arctic and the Antarctic, but they've all been remotely-operated -- unlike the SnoMote, a new bot being developed at the Georgia Tech that can navigate itself around ice and snow. Packs of the mini-snowmobile-based SnoMotes can negotiate with each other and "bid" on locations to investigate, and navigate by classifying microscopic fissures in the icy terrain. The bots haven't made it to the Antarctic yet, but they're apparently handling simulations quite well, and the plan is for teams of 40 to 50 of the $10,000 machines to wander the ice collecting data points for climate change models. Sure sure -- and the next thing you know, the Antarctic is the flashpoint of the revolution. Good plan, guys.

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