NASA tests foldable, robotic scout for Mars

The next NASA rover to head to another planet might take a little robotic scout along with it.

This robot can fold up its wheels and tuck itself away or unfold and pop up like a piece of origami.

That’s what NASA is saying about its new “PUFFER” robot, or Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot, which is about the size of a human hand.

The robot is expected to change the way robots explore Mars. These devices can drop into crevices and craters, climb steep slopes and travel 2,050 feet on one battery charge.

“Having something that’s as portable as a compass or a rock hammer means you can do science on the fly,” said Carolyn Parcheta, a NASA Jet Propulsion Lab scientist, in a statement. Parcheta has used robots to explore volcanoes and has helped NASA develop the robot’s science instruments.

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from Computerworld News
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