With other designers and innovators thinking of the best screens, processors or batteries for our computers, NASA is busy learning from nature. Its latest design of a squid-like robot not only checks out on all hug-the-trees philosophy but also meets all your wildest geeky expectations.
It runs on renewable power, has soft flexible components controlled by a plethora of sensors and takes after nature. What else would we ask of them? Though still a prototype, NASA hopes to explore distant worlds, especially the expansive seas of Europa, one of the many Jupiter’s moons.
Innovative energy source
Its power train is an impressive symbiotic interaction with the environment you would never expect from a robot. It uses Jupiter’s strong magnetic field to generate current. This electric current will power the cameras, communication and lighting system.
Most importantly, it will run a water electrolyser, a device that splits water into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen. Since hydrogen burns in oxygen, NASA’s robot will either undulate its body and move around as a squid by exploding the gas internally or burn it via thrusters to generate more aggressive motion just like an octopus would do.
This concept might be far from going live but it sure will be something to behold. Conquering the outer world and solving the ‘are we alone’ mystery has always being a hidden priority to humanity. Perhaps taking some inspiration from nature could be all we needed to get our answers.