NASA has created a robot that could perhaps help mankind colonize the moon one day. The Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (or, RASSOR for short) is a high-tech mechanism that can dig up lunar rocks, and soil, before transferring the minerals to a processing unit for automatic water, ice, and fuel extraction.
The multi-purpose design of RASSOR makes it versatile and effective to get around on the uneven lunar landscape. The robot can climb over obstacles, such as large boulders and rocky terrains.
The compact robot is only 2.5-foot-tall and is currently still in development as a prototype. The biggest challenge for the robot is its size. Weighing 100 pounds, RASSOR has multifunctional “legs” that not only act as wheels, but also as a digging tool.
The first water-seeking lunar mission is scheduled for 2017, which gives NASA engineers plenty of time to improve the design. NASA hopes to begin testing a second iteration of RASSOR next year.