Plans to start mining the Moon as early as 2025 have received a boost, with NASA granting a research team from the University of Arizona $500,000 to develop a swarm of robots able to mine, excavate and even build simple structures on the surface of our world’s natural satellite.
The robots, to be constructed and trained on Earth, will at first receive instructions from operators on this planet, but the goal is to make them fully autonomous, the university said.
The droids will use a learning model adapted by Jekan Thanga, University of Arizona (UA) associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, called the Human and Explainable Autonomous Robotic System (HEART).
HEART will not only train the robots to perform mechanical tasks, but will also gradually teach them to collaborate. “In a sense, we’re like farmers. We’re breeding talent out of these creatures, or a whole family of creatures, to do certain tasks,” Thanga said in a media release.
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