March 16, 2005
A Carnegie Mellon University rover called Zoe is the first robot to remotely detect life, finding fluorescent signals from both visible lichens and microscopic bacteria in Chile’s barren Atacama Desert.
The NASA-sponsored test thus demonstrated that scientists can use robots to identify life in harsh regions.
The CMU instrument detects life by looking for natural fluorescence from cells that contain chlorophyll. It also can spray four special dyes… read more