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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

This AI-Fortified Bot Will Build the First Homes for Humans on Mars

• wired.com by Anna Vlasits

They'll need trusted specialists with encyclopedic knowledge, composure under pressure, and extreme endurance—droids like Justin. Built by the German space agency DLR, such humanoid bots are being groomed to build the first martian habitat for humans. Engineers have been refining Justin's physical abilities for a decade; the mech can handle tools, shoot and upload photos, catch flying objects, and navigate obstacles. Now, thanks to new AI upgrades, Justin can think for itself. Unlike most robots, which have to be programmed in advance and given explicit instructions for nearly every movement, this bot can autonomously perform complex tasks—even those it hasn't been programmed to do—on a planet's surface while being supervised by astronauts in orbit. Object recognition software and computer vision let Justin survey its environment and undertake jobs such as cleaning and maintaining machinery, inspecting equipment, and carrying objects.

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