Ultralight Modular Robotic Building Blocks for the Rapid Deployment of Planetary Outposts

We examine how modular robots can be used to enable remote robotic construction of planetary and orbital outposts. Each modular robot, called a catom, contains sufficient actuation, adhesion, control, and power to allow it to function as part of an ensemble of similar units. We describe the catom design and construction as well as initial experiments carried out to verify the system.