I was peering out through the helmet of my space suit, when something terrible happened: I got an itch. And with my hands unable to touch my face, scratching it the good old fashioned way was out of the question. Thankfully, the suit’s manufacturer’s had predicted this very scenario and planned accordingly. A strip of velcro was positioned inside the helmet for me, and I was able to rub my face against it, relieving the discomfort. Even in space, things can get a little itchy.
This "Super Ball Bot" is the vision of NASA roboticist Vytas SunSpiral — yes, that's his real name — along with Adrian Agogino and their colleagues, who plan to have a full prototype by mid-September. In the process of developing this droid, they may have helped pioneer a revolutionary new class of robots.
While the Mars rovers’ drivers sit in relative comfort here on Earth, the rovers themselves do get beat up a bit. In honor of Curiosity’s second anniversary on Mars, The Verge put together a cool story showing the before and after pics of the toll the harsh environment has exacted on the rover. Scroll through for yourself to see some of the dents, scratches and holes that Curiosity has accumulated over the years. Oh, and all the dust it picked up. There’s a lot of dust.