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Hot Topic Exploration Robotics & A.I.
Avatars in Space
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Summary: At this year's Oscars, there was a great deal of buzz surrounding the science fiction epic, Avatar. The movie focuses on human explorers virtually immersing themselves in the environment of a distant world through the eyes and body of an avatar. The movie may be science fiction, but the concepts behind avatars in space exploration are based in science fact.

Robot Armada Could Explore Alien Worlds
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Summary: Some scientists believe that we are on the brink of big changes in planetary exploration. Future robotic explorers might be nothing like what we see today, and the new technologies could have benefits for astrobiologists.

Responsible Robots
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Summary: Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov penned the 'Three Laws of Responsible Robotics", and helped form the way that humans think about artificial intelligence. Now, researchers have proposed a new set of laws and foresee what they believe is "a safer and more realistic" future for robotics.

Shifting Through Sand
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Summary: Robotic explorers are used to the Earth's most difficult terrain, and they also play a major role in the exploration of our solar system. Now, scientists have provided detailed recommendations for building robots that can traverse sand and other granular surfaces. The study could aid in the future exploration of environments like Mars.

Building a Flying Saucer
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Summary: A new 'flying saucer' design for a prototype aircraft could one day aid in the exploration of other planets and moons, including Saturn's moon Titan. The technology could be used to explore many interesting sites for astrobiology in our solar system.

Construindo um Disco Voador
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Summary: Um novo projeto de "disco voador" para um protótipo de aeronave pode um dia ajudar na exploração de outros planetas e luas, incluindo a lua de Saturno, Titã. A tecnologia poderia ser utilizada para explorar muitos lugares interessantes para a astrobiologia no nosso sistema solar.

Dexterous UMan
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Summary: Researchers have built a mobile robotic arm that can 'see' its environment and learn to manipulate objects. The technology could play an important role in future robotic planetary exploration.

Building with DNA
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Summary: Scientists are using DNA to make intricate nano-sized objects smaller than the tiniest speck of dust. DNA is a primary building block for life, but its ability to self-assemble could also help develop technologies for medical, electronic and space applications.

Can a Robot Draw a Map?
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Summary: Scientists will need detailed geologic maps of Mars to guide their search for life there. Typically such maps are produced through painstaking human field work. A group of scientists from Carnegie Mellon University wants to know whether a robot could do the job instead.

The Return of the Blob … As a Robot
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
Summary: Most robots have legs, wheels, or tank-like treads. But Virgina Tech roboticist Dennis Hong is building one that uses "whole-skin locomotion" to move like an amoeba, enabling it to squeeze more easily into the some of the tight other-worldly spaces where extraterrestrial life might be hiding.

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