NASA tests giant robot that could pick up and move a Moon base

ATHLETE robot My last couple of posts have been about nanotechnology, so naturally this time around it was an item on something very large that caught my eye (Via NewScientist Space):

NASA engineers are testing out a giant, six-legged robot that could pick up and move a future Moon base thousands of kilometres across the lunar surface, allowing astronauts to explore much more than just the area around their landing site.

ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer–is there, like a whole department at NASA dedicated just to coming up with acronyms?) would be about 7.5 metres wide, with legs more than 6 metres long. Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, are now testing two small-scale prototype.

Check out the video of ATHLETE lowering itselfvideo of ATHLETE walking and driving, and video of two ATHLETE robots lifting a mock lunar module off its mount).

(Image: NASA/JPL)

[tags]robots,NASA,lunar exploration,Moon[/tags]