Shackleton Centenary Expedition

Robot explorers May 29 2008

Robot.jpg

Technology knows no bounds, are we witnessing the end of heroic exploration as we know it?

It seems a little disappointing that the robots in question look like glorified snowmobiles, but researchers at Georgia Tech have designed a robot (of sorts) that will be able to take scientific measurements in the sorts of conditions that human scientists can't.

This prospect could well revolutionise the prospects for research in inhospitable conditions - going further and measuring more and thus adding to our understanding of places like Greenland and Antarctica.

As Associate Professor Ayanna Howard says: "The changing mass of Greenland and Antarctica represents the largest unknown in predictions of global sea-level rise over the coming decades. Given the substantial impact these structures can have on future sea levels, improved monitoring of the ice sheet mass balance is of vital concern."

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