In the future, the only astronauts capable of finding a new home planet for the human race won’t be human at all. That’s right. Robot astronauts will save us all.

In the short film, Planet Unknown, Earth is in serious danger of having its life-sustaining resources run out, and the only astronauts are robots roaming the cosmos in search of a suitable replacement world.

Planet Unknown introduces us to two such intelligent robot astronauts that are roving about with impressive speed, mainly because they’re without the cumbersome suits and life support systems required by human astronauts. They’re speeding over the dry surface of an alien planet in search of ground that’s nutrient-rich. Problem is, they’re not having much luck. Following a destructive, meteoric surprise, our robot astronauts run into some trouble and are forced to find a way out to continue their mission.

These robots are the only astronauts of the future in 'Planet Unknown'

In Planet Unknown’s future, the planet-roving robots arent just rovers as we know them (looking at you, Curiosity), but closer to the Wall-E variety of robot. They’re intelligent and very capable of making informed decisions.

This variety of robots could be cheaper, tougher, and more capable of performing dangerous tasks than their human counterparts. One example? Outrunning a bunch of meteors in pursuit of nutrients. Planet Unknown shows us the possibilities of space exploration’s future in which robots save our skins by risking their “lives” on alien planets in order to find humankind a way off Earth and into a less resource-strapped future.

Planet Unknown was written and directed by Shawn Wang and is available in its entirety on Vimeo (below).

Photos via Shawn Wang