NASA is auctioning off three sets of patents in an effort to increase the "down-to-Earth" benefits of NASA's research and spread its technology to other industries. Three lots totaling twelve patents will be auctioned off, and NASA is offering the winners the chance to discuss the technology with its inventors. The patents themselves cover technology related to software development, robotics, artificial intelligence, industrial process control and wireless sensor networks; NASA says these patents "hold broad value in any field where a need exists to design highly complex, automated and intelligent systems."

This isn't the first time NASA has auctioned off patents; the agency believes it is one of the best way to openly exchange intellectual property and help its technology benefit a wide variety of industries. NASA cited the example of researcher Norden Huang, who developed signal processing algoritms that were eventually licensed and used in medical diagnosis and predication of brain blood flow issues (like strokes). NASA Deputy Chief Technologist James Adams said in a statement that "Intellectual property auctions leverage capabilities and resources toward NASA's goal of increasing the down-to-Earth benefits of its research," and we certainly wouldn't mind seeing technology developed with the help of NASA's artificial intelligence patents. The auction will take place tomorrow, so get your bids ready.