Mechas On The Moon

Those giant human-carrying robots of science fiction may soon become science fact.

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.

This massive robot called ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer) was designed by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, US and is about 7.5 meters wide with each leg more than 6 meters long.

What’s so awesome about this design is the way the legs and wheels work together to address unknown or difficult terrain. The ATHLETE has wheels that can be locked in place mounted as feet on each of its legs. When the terrain is rough or jagged, ATHLETE walks around and over it like a spider. When terrain is more barren and flat, the wheels can be used to make for a smoother journey for the inhabitants of the living courters mounted right on its back.

They don’t transform into humanoid ninjas just yet but throw in a couple laser guns and a missile pack or two and you’re at least halfway there.

Via: New Scientist Space

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