A team of researchers want to build robots out of ice and send them to space. The idea is that — lacking a local repair shop — the icy bots can use found materials to rebuild themselves.
Ice can be located all over the solar system, from the moon to the distant rings around Saturn. So researchers from the University of Pennsylvania are trying to figure out how to tap into that nearly unlimited resource for robotics.
NASA wants to send the robot dog, Spot, to space. The canine-bot can do many tricks — from herding sheep to helping the NYPD in a hostage situation — but it likely won’t be able to repair itself. Where could it find enough materials to do the job?