Remember Japan's plans to put a humanoid robot on the moon by 2015? Well apparently that's only Phase 1 of their $2 billion master plan, because now they want an entire robotic colony on the moon by 2020. Not if I have anything to do with it! (I don't is the f***ing problem)
As currently envisioned, the robots that will land on the lunar surface in 2015 will be 660-pound behemoths equipped with rolling tank-like treads, solar panels, seismographs, high-def cameras and a smattering of scientific instruments. They'll also have human-like arms for collecting rock samples that will be returned to Earth via rocket. The robots will be controlled from Earth, but they'll also be imbued with their own kind of machine intelligence, making decisions on their own and operating with a high degree of autonomy.
Those initial surveyor bots will pave the way for the construction of the unmanned moon base near the lunar south pole, which the robots will construct for themselves. That base will be solar powered and provide a working/living space future robot colonizers, as well as -- presumably -- a jumping off point for future human moon dwellers.
God, can you imagine if the first contact we have with aliens is through Japan's robotic moon colony? They'll Alderaan our asses!
Thanks to Mike, Stealth Logic, jondeelee, Tom, Bender and Monsterrod Von Hugenstien, who are all voting 'NO' this November on Proposition Moonbase 2020.