Nushmia Khan | Quartz | March 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

NASA Just Made a Tiny New Robot Companion for the Mars Rover

PUFFER was outfitted for field testing in snow during a recent trip to Antarctica's Mt. Erebus. Dylan Taylor/NASA

Meet PUFFER, a new robot designed by NASA to explore terrains a Mars rover can’t get to. Its name stands for pop-up flat folding explorer robot. It’s built to manage all kinds of situations, and has been tested in environments as extreme as California’s Mojave desert to an active volcano in Antarctica.

Soon, it will act like a scientist. The designers are incorporating all sorts of instruments, like a spectrometer, to enable the robot to study the chemical makeup of its environment on future NASA missions.

Watch the video below to see PUFFER in action: