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posted by martyb on Friday June 04 2021, @08:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the having-a-ball-with-science dept.

Japan will send a transforming robot ball to the Moon:

Japan is prepping an unusual robot to explore the Moon — and it's clearly influenced by the country's tech industry. The Byte reports that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has teamed up with Sony, Doshisha University and toy maker Tomy on a ball-shaped transforming robot to study the lunar soil ahead of a crewed rover due in 2029.

The 8.8oz bot will arrive in a compact ball that will help the private robotics company Ispace carry the machine aboard its lunar lander. Once on the surface, it'll pop open into a "full" configuration that captures images of the Moon's surface. This will also make the robot useful for future missions, JAXA said.

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  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Friday June 04 2021, @08:46PM (1 child)

    by looorg (578) on Friday June 04 2021, @08:46PM (#1141878)

    The transformers jokes write themselves, just imagine this comment transforming into something funny/insightful/informative/interesting/troll/spam ...

    That said it's transforming into a camera to take pictures of surface/dirt ... it seems somewhat underwhelming. Don't we have a fair amount of pictures of the moon already? From all heights, directions and whatever.

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  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Friday June 04 2021, @09:25PM

    by krishnoid (1156) on Friday June 04 2021, @09:25PM (#1141882)

    Sure, but these photos will be in, like, 16-bit color.