Check Out The Crazy New Tech NASA Is Investing In

Tony Craddock/

Robots that fly, swarm and support life could help us explore the cosmos.

As NASA sets its sights set on getting to Mars, the agency is investing in a whole lot of new technology.

On March 30, NASA announced it had selected 25 technology proposals for technology that could aid exploration. Each idea is still in the early stages of development.

One idea, the Shapeshifter, consists of a horde of robots that can combine into different forms. This would allow it to adapt to any environment, from high up in the air to deep underwater.

Another idea NASA is interested in is Biobot, a mobile robot that would help provide life support for astronauts. The bot would connect to the astronaut with an attachment similar to an umbilical cord.

The proposal for the Marsbee envisions a swarm of flying robots helping the Mars rover conduct its mission, while the PROCSIMA is an idea for beamed propulsion for interstellar missions.

“The NIAC program gives NASA the opportunity to explore visionary ideas that could transform future NASA missions by creating radically better or entirely new concepts while engaging America’s innovators and entrepreneurs as partners in the journey,” said Jim Reuter, acting associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. “The concepts can then be evaluated for potential inclusion into our early-stage technology portfolio.”

Initially, NASA will invest $125,000 in each proposal to allow each team to expand its concept and demonstrate that the technology is feasible. From there, teams can apply for the second phase of NASA funding to keep developing their technology.