Erik Baard writes " The NY Times (reg. blah) is currently an article on robotic inchworm drills. NASA is funding Honeybee Robotics' R&D to create an inchworming "underground rover" based in part on a steam pipe welding machine the company built for Con Ed (called the WISER). The autonomous robot (scroll here to the Inchworm Deep Drilling System -- http://www.honeybeerobotics.com/sample.htm) would reach *kilometers* into Mars or Jupiter's moon, Europa, where scientists expect to find liquid water, and just possibly, life. Other drill designs could go perhaps a meter down. The inchworm could either gnaw its way back to the surface, or lay a series of radio relay stations ("bread crumbs") to pass the data signal to an amplifier on the surface to communicate with Earth. Yeah, I'm a regular /.er. And yeah, the NYT online spelled my name wrong."