Exploring Our Solar System Will Require A New Breed Of SmartBots SpaceDaily

During the next decade, says NASA Ames roboticist Liam Pedersen, “there’s not likely to be a human presence much beyond Earth orbit. So if we wish to explore places like Mars, we’ll have to send robots. No robots, no exploration. Period.” “Transmitting detailed instructions to essentially dumb robots is grossly inefficient and expensive–especially when there’s lots to do,” he adds. For example: Robots scouting Mars, perhaps in advance of human explorers, will reconnoiter vast areas. They’ll sample hundreds of rocks, drill holes in search of frozen water, and take thousands of pictures. “If each of these operations takes several days and a standing army of mission controllers … well, you can see how the cost increases.”