NASA sends robot dogs to the moon: All about the LASSIE project

Houston, Texas - NASA is working with several universities on robot "dog" helpers for the journey to Earth's moon.

This robot "dog" goes by the name of Spirit and has been programmed to be able to move around on inaccessible surfaces.
This robot "dog" goes by the name of Spirit and has been programmed to be able to move around on inaccessible surfaces.  © Screenshot/YouTube/@USCViterbi

These four-legged robots are affectionally referred to as "dogs" for NASA's aptly named project LASSIE.

The LASSIE project involves the University of Southern California, Texas A&M University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and NASA.

Rather than a movie-ready long-haired Collie pup, collaborators are working with some innovative technology.

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LASSIE is the abbreviation for "Legged Autonomous Surface Science In Analogue Environments."

The scientists are working on small four-legged robots that will explore and take samples from "extreme earth and planetary surfaces."

At the beginning of April, Texas A&M University announced that the dog bots were being prepared for the lunar surface by practicing on the Palmer Glacier in Oregon.

The movements of the little machines are already giving researchers a lot of valuable information!

What is particularly impressive, however, is how the robots manage to pick themselves up again after a fall. Even on rough terrain, the robots can carry on walking.

Dogs do love a good walk, though, don't they?

Cover photo: Screenshot/YouTube/@USCViterbi

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