HOW ROBOTS WORK: Robots are made of roughly the same components as human beings: a body structure with moveable joints; a muscle system outfitted with motors and actuators to move that body structure; a sensory system to collect information from the surrounding environment; a power source to activate the body; and a computer "brain" system to process sensory information and tell the muscles what to do. Robots are manmade machines intended to replicate human and animal behavior. Roboticists can combine these basic elements with other technological innovations to create some very complex robotic systems.
ABOUT METHANE: Methane sources such as cows, oceans, wetlands, and natural gas pipes have more impact on the global atmosphere than previously thought. It was released along with oil in the Deepwater Horizon spill and even seeps naturally from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. When methane breaks down chemically in the atmosphere and combines with other chemicals, it produces ozone, atmospheric scientists say. Like methane, ozone is also a greenhouse gas, and it is also the main component of smog. Researchers say that even something as simple as tightening a leaky gas pipe can make a difference.