One of the biggest challenges to living on Mars is water—there just isn’t a lot of it! The majority of the planet is covered in desert. While there is evidence that liquid water once flowed on the surface of Mars, most of the known water on the planet is frozen at the north and south poles.
Since most human settlements will be started closer to the equator where it is warmer, far separated from water, one idea is to build a fleet of water-retrieving robots. Human settlers could mount an expedition to the pole, marking a safe route there and back. Then, they could program robots to make the trip by themselves, crawling across the Martian surface, collecting ice chunks from the pole, and returning to the settlement.