Any robot NASA sends to harsh, distant worlds has to be tougher than garden-variety machines. Since every component has to be able to withstand extreme conditions, a team of researchers over at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are looking at the possibility of using bulk metallic glass for their gears. Metallic glass is a metal with glass-like atomic structure — it has low melting temp and can be blow-molded when heated. Gears made out of the material don’t get brittle and won’t need lubricants even in extremely cold environments.
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