Shape Shifting Robot Can Reassemble After Crashing Apart

Article written: 30 Apr , 2008
Updated: 19 May , 2015
by

It’s fairly certain that the Mars Polar Lander and the Beagle lander crash landed on Mars, never to be heard from again. Well, what if crash landing was no problem? What if a robotic spacecraft could just reassemble and fix itself if there was a mishap on the way to another planet’s surface? That type of science fiction is getting closer to reality. A group of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have developed a robot made of separate modules that can recognize each other and reassemble itself if they crash or get kicked apart. Maybe this could solve the problems of landing on Mars!
Except we haven’t figured out how to reassemble people, yet.

Take a look a the video. It’s pretty remarkable, although I have to admit, I had visions of the Terminator after watching it….

Original News Source: New Scientist



11 Responses

  1. Timber says

    The video seems to be no longer available

  2. zeb says

    It worked for me. Awesome vid, and kind of creepy.

  3. Adam says

    i for one welcome our new self-repairing robotic masters, etc etc.

  4. kongaman says

    I would laugh if the robot suddenly got up and said “Okay, who kicked me?”

    Take a good look, humans – this is your replacement. Go quietly and efficiently to the processing camps when the Machines come for you.

    There is a new and better intelligence coming to this planet.

  5. justin says

    sounds like the Replicators in Stargate SG1…. 🙂

  6. alphonso richardson says

    OOh! interesting!

  7. Erik says

    I think that this vid is really frightful. But great work, I must admit.

  8. Eric Near Buffalo says

    I’m not worthy!!
    I’m not worthy!!
    I’m not worthy!!
    I’m scum!!
    I suck!!

    In all seriousness, once we get done Global Warming ourselves into oblivion, this is what will replace us. It’ll be a world of artificial intelligence.

  9. tontotoo says

    I always figured it would be the stupid Alpha Male jocks types who destroyed humanity, but now I think it will be the nerds as they create our replacements.

    Eh, the galaxy will be better off with some real intelligent beings in it.

  10. Christopher says

    I thought it was pretty impressive – till it collapsed at the end.
    Clearly we have a long way to good, but it’s a good concept. I can imagine something like this would be more efficient on nano-scale.

  11. bob says

    Absolutely neat! Will they replace us or will we rearrange out DNA structure to teach our bodies to reassemble and marry with technology?

    Keep in mind such threats as decapitation or cancer may disappear in the future. Perhaps our lungs can learn to inhale methane or perhaps our newly formed bionic bodies will become space ships that can fly out to Saturn or watch the eventual death of the Sun as we inhabit outer planets.

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