NASA developing Super Ball Bots for robotic exploration

William Atkins

The U.S. space agency NASA is developing Super Ball Bots – a new type of robotic explorer that is shaped like a wire mesh ball – which it hopes to be able to explore the outer solar system and beyond.

One of the more daunting phases of the exploration of planets, moons, and other celestial bodies is the landing on such bodies. Landing is dangerous, complex, and often times unsuccessful.

However, NASA is developing an unusual type of explorer that minimizes the complexity of landings and maximizes the chance for success. A Super Ball Bot has been described as “a jumble of tent poles”.

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