Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have successfully run a series of flights by autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over Antarctica. These robotic planes have a 2-meter wingspan and weigh 6 kilograms. They are powered by Lithium Ion Polymer (LIPo) battery packs — similar to the ones in your cellphones or laptops. So far, these autonomous UAVs have completed about 20 flights lasting 40 minutes each. These robots can fly over 45 kilometers while taking about 100 measurements per second about the exchange of heat between the lower atmosphere and sea ice. According to one of the scientists, 'the future of atmospheric research will be robotic.'"