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Hot Topic Exploration Robotics & A.I.
Can a Robot Find a Rock?
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Go outside and try to find a rock. It´s pretty easy, right? Not if you´re a robot. David Wettergreen explains why.

Robotic Sun Worship
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
It´s not easy to teach a robot about energy efficiency – but it can be done. Roboticist David Wettergreen explains how.

Robots with Legs
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
What do you do when you´re afraid a volcano might be about to explode and you need to descend into the searing heat of its caldera to take a few geologic samples? You send a robot.

Demystifying El Zacatón
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
A NASA-funded robotic vehicle has plunged into the mysterious depths of Mexico's El Zacatón sinkhole and returned information about the unique forms of life that inhabit its waters. The robot may one day help in the search for life beyond our planet by taking the plunge into the oceans of Europa.

Mr. Roboto
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
A new robot named Domo may be the next step forward in artificial intelligence. The robot is able to analyze its environment and manipulate objects in ways similar to humans. These abilities may one day help robots explore distant planets and perform complicated scientific studies.

Swarms of Nano-nauts
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Engineers are designing a new breed of planetary explorers: tiny, shape-shifting devices that can be carried on the wind like dust but can also communicate, fly in formation and take scientific measurements. 'Smart dust' may one day provide a unique method of studying locations interesting to astrobiology, such as Mars and Venus.

Talking Bots
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Using virtual robots that possess evolvable genomes, researchers have identified key factors that may play important roles in determining how communication arises in the evolution of social organisms.

Superbots in Action
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Modular robots may play a major role in future space exploration. From traveling over difficult terrain, burrowing below the ground and flying in micro-gravity, these robots can complete a range of tasks to support exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Whisking Heads
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Two Northwestern University engineers have been studying the whisker system of rats to better understand how mechanical information from the whiskers gets transmitted to the brain and to develop artificial whisker arrays for engineering applications.

Hop, Bounce and Roll on Mars
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
MIT engineers and scientist colleagues have a new vision for the future of Mars exploration: a swarm of probes, each the size of a baseball, spreading out across the planet in every direction.

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