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The micro-robots could land on the surface of another planet arranged in a capsule like eggs in a carton. Or they could be dropped onto the planet by a balloon floating above the surface. They would move by rolling and bouncing, powered by artificial muscles that alter their overall shape.
In cave exploration, the micro-robots could position themselves to enable communications from deep within a cave. Each one would act as a relay, passing messages back to a central unit. Fifty micro-robots lined up in this manner could theoretically explore a cavern a kilometre deep.
The final bots would each be a few centimetres in diameter, about 100 grams in weight, and would be able to jump about 1.5 metres in a single bound, travelling 50 kilometres over their lifetimes.
Each robot would come equipped with a suite of scientific instruments, such as cameras and spectrometers, and would be able to communicate with one another, their designers claim.
However, recent scientific evidence suggest that just a thick enough atmosphere like Earth's is enough to create a shielding effect in the absence of a magnetosphere. In the past, Earth regularly had periods where the magnetosphere changed direction and collapsed for some time. Some scientists believe that in the ionosphere, a magnetic shielding was created almost instantly after the magnetosphere collapsed., a principle that applies to Venus as well and would also be the case in every other planet or moon with a large enough atmosphere.