Latest in Nasa

Image credit:

NASA shows off a squishy robot rover that could land on Titan (video)

30 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

NASA likes to pack light for extraterrestrial visits, so it has been developing a tensegrity rover -- a rod-based robot that uses cable tension to absorb blows and roll around, rather than a bulky chassis. Thanks to the agency's demo for IEEE Spectrum, we now know what a prototype of the explorer, Super Ball Bot, looks like in action. While it's not very graceful with only some of its motors working, the vehicle has little trouble getting across a room by squishing itself. The clever design should come in handy for a potential mission to Saturn's moon Titan. Since the robot collapses into a smaller shape, NASA could pack multiple units into one spacecraft and study more of the moon's surface. It also wouldn't require the usual airbags or parachutes to land; a Super Ball Bot could fall from more than 62 miles above Titan without taking damage. Any interplanetary expedition is still years away, but it's already evident that future rovers could bear little in common with their modern-day equivalents.

Source: IEEE Spectrum
Coverage: NASA
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
30 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The best consoles, games and accessories for students

The best consoles, games and accessories for students

View
Divorce dispute leads to accusation of crime in space

Divorce dispute leads to accusation of crime in space

View
OnePlus 7T might pack a wide-angle camera

OnePlus 7T might pack a wide-angle camera

View
Scientists bioprint living tissue in a matter of seconds

Scientists bioprint living tissue in a matter of seconds

View
CDC identifies a death potentially linked to vaping

CDC identifies a death potentially linked to vaping

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr