Monday, May 31, 2010

Moon Base Built by Robots 'for' Robots...

Leave it to Japan to plan for a moon base built by robots for robots...


The Japanese space agency JAXA, not only plans to have humanoid robots on the moon by 2015, but also announced to have a unmanned lunar base up and running by robots in 2020. The amazing part of this 2.2 billion dollar project is that this lunar base is not only run by robots, but it will be constructed by robots as well.
As currently envisioned, the robots that will land on the lunar surface in 2015 will be 660-pound behemoths equipped with rolling tank-like treads, solar panels, seismographs, high-def cameras and a smattering of scientific instruments. They'll also have human-like arms for collecting rock samples that will be returned to Earth via rocket. The robots will be controlled from Earth, but they'll also be imbued with their own kind of machine intelligence, making decisions on their own and operating with a high degree of autonomy.  
Those initial surveyor bots will pave the way for the construction of the unmanned moon base near the lunar south pole, which the robots will construct for themselves. That base will be solar powered and provide a working/living space future robot colonizers, as well as -- presumably -- a jumping off point for future human moon dwellers. 
Lets all sit and wait with our fingers crossed that these robotic space explorers don't become self-aware and come back to earth to destroy us all. This story sounds more like the plot of a science-fiction movie than real life...


via popsci

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