As we move further out into space, these robots — including a sticky-sided grasping robot and a hedgehog-inspired hopping cubebot — could be the ones exploring that terrain for us.

Top image: Artist's conception of robot with microspine gripper legs, to remain locked on a surface even in microgravity. NASA/JPL-Caltech


NASA has announced that it's going to move ahead with testing on several new models of space surface exploration technologies. The next step towards sending them into space is testing out how they do in weightless conditions, which they plan to do in the next year or two. Here are some of the 13 new models that will be making the trip.

Image: Hopping/tumbling "hedgehog" robot / NASA JPL-Caltech


Image: A grasping feature (based on a gecko's adhesion) that can be turned on and off / NASA JPL-Caltech

You can check out details on the rest of the projects here.