NASA Boston Dynamics Robot Mars
NASA/JPL Caltech researchers are working with a team at Boston Dynamics to develop “Mars Dogs,” or autonomous robotic dogs that will be able to navigate the Red Planet’s rough terrain and its many underground caves. Similar to the Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance rovers, they’ll come equipped with a multitude of sensors capable of detecting obstacles as well as finding the most efficient paths or creating virtual maps in real-time of underground areas. Read more for a video and additional information.

This version of Spot will be called “Au-Spot” and be equipped with networked sensors as well as special software designed to help it roam the Martian surface and underground tunnels. It’s currently being tested here on obstacle courses right here on Earth, including tunnels, up inclines, and Mars-like areas to help it acclimate.

LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Building Set 51515; STEM Model Robot Toy for Creative Kids with Remote Control Model Robots; Inspiring Code and Control Edutainment Fun, New 2020 (949 Pieces)
  • With LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor (51515), kids gain essential STEM skills as they build, code and play with remote-control model robots and intelligent creations that shoot missiles, play ball, drive around and more!
  • Kids build Charlie, Tricky, Blast, M.V.P. and Gelo, and take on activities and missions using the Scratch-based LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor App (visit for a list of compatible devices)
  • With almost 1,000 pieces, including an intelligent Hub, 4 Medium Motors, Color Sensor and Distance Sensor with break-out interface, youngsters can also build their own fun robotic toys and share them online on LEGO Life
  • An easy-to-install rechargeable battery is included, so no need to go hunting for spare batteries when the fun’s about to start
  • Blast stands at over 14” (36cm) tall, while Gelo measures over 9” (24cm) long; The Powered Up components in this set are also compatible with the LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox (17101), Droid Commander (75253) and others

CoSTAR develops a holistic autonomy, perception, and communication framework called NeBula (Networked Belief-aware Perceptual Autonomy), enabling various rolling and flying robots to autonomously explore unknown environments. In the second year of the project, we aimed at extending our autonomy framework to explore underground structures including multiple levels and mobility stressing-features. We were looking into expanding the locomotion capabilities of our robotic team to support this level of autonomy. Spot was the perfect choice for us due to its size, agility, and capabilities,” said the team.