Little snowmobile-like robots will soon be patrolling the Antarctic surface, collecting all sorts of data in the pursuit of something called science. The robots, called SnoMote by their Georgia Tech creators, distinguish themselves from previous cold weather robots in how they navigate the icy surface. Rather than depend upon landmarks like rocks or mountains, which are hard to discern in the all-white snow hell that is Antarctica, SnoMotes will scan for microscopic fissures in the ground. When a SnoMote finds such a fissure, it navigates around the crack, continuing with its great journey.
The robots, which took some two years to develop, may only cost as little as $10,000 when launched en masse.