“Our architecture relies on the novel concept of spacecraft/rover hybrids, which are surface mobility platforms capable of achieving large surface coverage (by attitude-controlled (sic) hops, akin to spacecraft flight), fine mobility (by tumbling), and coarse instrument pointing (by changing orientation relative to the ground) in the low-gravity environments (micro-g to milli-g) of small bodies.” – Marco Pavone
“A mother spacecraft would deploy over the surface of a small body one, or several, spacecraft/rover hybrids, which are small, multi-faceted enclosed robots with internal actuation and external spikes.” – Marco Pavone
The innate urge to wander has been an advantageous facet of our species for millennia. With the help of advanced robotics and A.I., our already extended reach into the cosmos will soon become commonplace beyond fathomable measures. Soon man won’t be the only intelligent species traveling the universe, but subsequently those of our own creation.
With NASA’s cube hybrids, the prospect of a collective unit of spacefaring robots grows closer by the day. Imagine an automated collective traversing in sync beyond the confines of our own galaxy, operating in hive mind similar to the Borg, but instead with the goal in mind of mere exploration, study, and curiosity. Don’t believe that’s possible? Well, Harvard’s Kilobot swarm is set out to prove otherwise!