Cassini Automatic Interplanetary Stationreported to Earth information about the state of the surface of the satellite of Saturn Titan. The data discouraged the engineers - it is almost impossible to investigate the surface dotted with cryovolcanoes, lakes with liquid methane, numerous rocky mountain ranges under incessant methane rain.
However, space researchers have found a way out andThey suggest using Shapeshifter, a composite transforming robot formed during the integration of two robotic systems consisting of “cobots” (collective robots).
Component Shapeshifter robots - it possessesown engines, navigation system and energy sources. Each robot included in the Shapeshifter complex can independently withstand the rigors of the Titan.
However, to perform complex technicalor transport tasks, the capabilities of one robot may not be enough. Therefore, engineers proposed the use of dynamic mounts that allow robots to integrate into complex structures to solve certain problems. So robots can transform into a kind of boat or raft to overcome the Titan rivers, or “turn into a ball for economical movement across the steppe. The developers left the choice of the optimal design for Shapeshifter to the robot itself, which is able to tune in to a specific task.
Given the huge distance to Titan and the realcapabilities of modern space technology Shapeshifter is a small robot whose size does not exceed terrestrial quadrocopters and is a prototype concept, the real model of which will be presented only in 2020.