On a muddy, rubble-strewn field on the banks of the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, a five-foot-tall pyra­midal robot with twin camera eyes slowly rotates on four metal wheels, its electric motors emitting a low whine. In a nearby trailer, students from Carnegie Mellon University huddle around a laptop to watch the world through the robot’s eyes. In the low-resolution grayscale images on the laptop’s screen, the rutted landscape looks a lot like the moon, which is the robot’s ultimate destination.