MattSparkes writes: "The Mars rover Spirit used to get quite confused when it came upon a rock. Because it could only plan routes of a metre or two it couldn't understand how to navigate around large objects, and frequently used to rock back and forth for hours trying to figure it out. NASA have written new software called D* for the rover Opportunity, which should allow it to autonomously plan routes up to 50 metres long. The new software still won't be able to avoid sand-traps though."
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