Space Robotics

Mars Rovers Get a Software Upgrade

Posted 4 Jan 2007 at 20:36 UTC by steve Share This

The NASA Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity will be starting off the new year with software upgrades. The rovers are just passing the three year mark and both appear ready to keep going for another year. To date each of the robots has sent back more than 80,000 images (see 'em all: Spirit Opportunity). The new software is part of NASA's "thinking spacecraft" project, which we reported on back in September. The upgrades allows the robots to make more decisions in real time without waiting for humans back on Earth to tell them what to do. One new skill is improved visual target tracking that allows the robots to notice and record interesting visual events such as Martian dust devils on their own. For more see the NASA JPL news release or the BBC article on the upgrades.

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