As a Science Fiction aficionado for decades, it is exciting to watch as real life today aligns with the fertile imaginations from the past. The artificial intelligence of androids may still be far in the future, but watching the Curiosity Rover in action makes it easy to believe we’re on the right path. Even if the robot looks a lot more like Johnny Five (Short Circuit) than Data (Star Trek, Next Generation) or Sonny (I Robot).
Although this video is an artist’s concept animation, it is so well done that at times it’s easy to forget we’re not looking at the real thing, especially the shots of the rover in action on the surface of Mars.
The Mars Science Laboratory, known as the Curiosity Rover, is a NASA project managed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology. The long term mission is to use robots to explore Mars. The Curiosity Rover is currently scheduled to launch late November 2011 and land on Mars in August 2012, eight and a half months later.