Fully Charged: Mining robots heading for the moon, HTC wants to rule the mid-range phone market

It’s time for our morning news round-up once again – grab a cup of joe and tuck in

NASA now taking moon mining bids

NASA has taken the first step towards establishing mining operations on the moon. Today, the agency will be considering proposals from private companies concerning the building of prospecting robots. These robots will be used to seek out valuable resources on our lunar neighbour – stuff like helium 3 and rare earth materials.

Because of its limited funding, NASA has begun to work with private companies more often (Elon Musk’s SpaceX transport company being a notable example), and it seems like the exploration of space will fall more and more to businesses rather than nation states.

[Source: NASA]

Image credit: Sam Kieldsen

READ MORE: SpaceX launches first commercial spaceflight to the ISS

SanDisk Clip Sport: the perfect MP3 player for active types?

SanDisk has unveiled the Clip Sport, a portable music player designed with runners and gym-goers in mind. To that end it’s lightweight, offers a 25-hour battery life and comes with a clip to attach it to your clothes.

OK, so it’s not offering a whole lot more than the iPod Nano or Shuffle – except perhaps the fact that it doesn’t require iTunes. There are people out there who’d rather watch eight back-to-back seasons of Big Brother than tangle with Apple’s music software, and SanDisk’s player might strike a chord with them. It features an FM radio and comes in 4GB to 16GB capacities.

SanDisk say the Clip Sport is “out now” in the UK with pricing TBC.

READ MORE: Gadget Doctor – Which sports tracking band should I buy?

More after the break...

HTC to bolster mid-range with affordable new smartphones

Financially, HTC hasn’t been having the best time of late, and according to a report by Reuters it’s going to attempt to transform its fortunes by adopting a new tactic: make more affordable, mid-range smartphones. The company is best-known for high-end models like the One which, while a fantastic phone, hasn’t prevented a drop of 80 percent in HTC’s share price over the past two years. Now the company will concentrate on supplemented its feature-laden flagships with other, cheaper options in the US$150-$300 (£90-£180) range – a an area of the market where rivals like Samsung and myriad Chinese manufacturers are doing good business. Whether HTC can emulate them is another matter...

[Source: Reuters]

READ MORE: How HTC designed the world’s most desirable phone

Transformers Universe trailer: your daily fix of robots punching each other

Michael Bay’s Transformers movies may be front runners in Hollywood’s race to the bottom, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have high hopes for a tactical action MMO based on their characters (“characters” seems a generous word for the beings in the Transformers movies, but whatever). Transformers Universe will be out this summer and you can check out the first gameplay trailer above.

READ MORE: Watch Michael Bay melt down at CES 2014