Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Opportunity Mars Rover Gets Artificial Intelligence Upgrade, Decides For Itself What to Explore Next

Opportunity Target Selection Opportunity scans the Martian terrain for rocks meeting specific criteria – shape, size, coloration – set by scientists on the ground. When it finds what it's looking for, it sets a course for the point of interest. NASA/JPL-Caltech

From Popular Science:

NASA's Opportunity Rover, now in its seventh year of roaming the Martian surface, just got a little smarter. Like parents giving their growing child a little more autonomy, engineers updated Opportunity with artificial intelligence software this past winter that allows the rover to make its own decisions about where to stop and which rocks to analyze during its travels. Now the first images of Opportunity picking and choosing where to investigate have been released.

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