NASA’s latest creation PUFFER or Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot is smartphone sized and can bend and wander on gruff terrains and surfaces with mobility challenges.
Because of its compact size, it can be sent in large numbers on surfaces not suitable for astronauts like Mars. This Origami inspired robot uses a microscope to explore harsh surfaces.
NASA factsheet says: This compactness allows a large number of PUFFERs to be packed into a larger “parent” spacecraft at low payload cost, and then used by the parent spacecraft to provide increased surface mobility.
PUFFER is a concept that could provide "simple, low-cost access to new high-value extreme terrains." NASA mentions the caves and lava tubes of Mars as possible travel locations, as well as the "icy 'chaos terrains' on the surface of Europa."
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam