Wouldn't it be neat if you released a small robot into a swath of nature like a grove of trees or even your backyard, and have it survive autonomously, rain or shine, for an entire season?
It have to be completely self-sufficient in terms of power needs (solar) as well as being able to extricate itself from physical difficulties like mud or debris. Mybe once every day it would travel back to a base station to 'report in' so I'd find out if it got into serious trouble.
So, what would the robot do? Maybe it could record barometric, temperature or wind data, though that'd be boring. Better yet, give it a infrared, motion-activated cam and a SD card so it could snap pix periodically, to be retrieved when it comes home.
And it would come home. At a preset date, the bot would be programmed to return to a designated spot -- if it survived.
(Image by Flickr user V 2, Community Commons)