Friday, September 30

Tag: NASA SWIM concept

NASA is developing swimming robots to look for alien life
Science

NASA is developing swimming robots to look for alien life

Some day in the future, a swarm of cellphone-size robots could swim through the water beneath the kilometres-thick icy shell of Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Enceladus, looking for alien life. These robots could be packed within narrow ice-melting probes that would tunnel through the frozen crust to release the tiny robots underwater, which can then swim far and deep to learn about the new worlds. Or at least, that is the vision of Ethan Schaler, a robotics mechanical engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California. Schaler’s Sensing With Independent Micro-Swimmers (SWIM) concept was recently awarded $600,000 in Phase II funding from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. Schaler and his team will use the funding to make and test 3D-printed...