• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Technology Update

Air Date: Week of

Living on Earth’s Cynthia Graber reports on a new snake-like robot that’s designed to explore distant planets.


GRABER: On earth, they slither over rocks, through dirt and sand - and now they may help us discover what lurks in outer space. Exploring the unknown demands flexibility, and robots modeled on how snakes move can go almost anywhere. They can slide through cracks, wind over gravel, or scooch like a centipede over boulders. The first snakebot was designed to rummage through earthquake rubble. It was modeled on a remote controlled car and went where humans told it to go. But, in space it wouldn't be able to respond to commands fast enough to avoid hitting obstacles. So, NASA scientists are working on a new, improved version. Their snakebot will have sensors so delicate the machine can actually feel obstacles in its path, even determine the quality of the sand it squiggles across. This way, the snakebot can get to get from point A to point B without breaking too many circuits. That's this week's technology update. I'm Cynthia Graber.



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth