Shapeshifting Robots are Among New Space Tech Ideas to Attract NASA’s Attention

 

A wild space tech idea caught the attention of NASA. The space tech idea called Shapeshifter is among the early-stage technology proposals included in Phase 1 of NIAC. NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts include wild but promising space tech ideas.

Shapeshifter is shapeshifting robots, one of the ideas presented in NIAC. Among those ideas presented include a meteoroid impact detection technology and space telescope swarms. The proposals presented is said to have around $125,000 worth of value.

Investigators will have to work on the definition of the ideas and analyze them within nine months. After the process, the teams participating in NIAC can begin the application for Phase 2. A Phase 2 award will provide the team with two years of study worth up to $500,000.

Visionary Ideas that Can Potentially Change the Future

The 2018 NIAC Phase2 proposals include 9 wild space tech ideas. The NIAC proposals are still in early stage. It will be years, maybe even decades, before it becomes an actual mission flight. This is if NASA maintained an interest in them.

While the realization of these concepts is still unlikely, the collection of concepts acts like a library for NASA. This will provide the organization with a place to draw concepts for a mission development. Shapeshifter is one of the many space tech ideas that caught the interest of the agency.

A System for All Access and Cross-Domain Mobility

This new system is a robotic platform that will offer complete access and mobility across different domains. If realized, it can fly in the atmosphere, navigate through subsurface voids, roll on smooth surfaces, float on lake surfaces, and thrust under oceans.

The system includes small robotic units called as cobot. These cobots combine allowing them to shapeshift into varying modes of mobility. The advantage of the system is that each cobot consists of extremely simple design. It only includes several propellers, which act as actuators.

Shapeshifter has the ability to change shape like a flight array, a ball, a torpedo-like structure, and more. By changing to these shapes, it can hover and fly over or move below surfaces. It can swim below liquid or roll on surfaces.

Moreover, Shapeshifter can change to functional systems capable of carrying multiple sets of tasks. Among the things that Shapeshifter can do include making communication networks, transferring big and heavy objects, crossing long distances using minimal power, and more.