Technology‎ > ‎

Scientists develop robot ‘hedgehogs’ to explore Martian moon

posted 23 Jan 2013, 12:26 by Mpelembe   [ updated 23 Jan 2013, 12:27 ]

Next Media - Stanford researchers in collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have developed a nearly completely autonomous system to explore the Martian Moon Prohos

The system consists of a mothership Prohos Surveyor and a rover called Hedgehog. Dropped from the mothership, each half-meter-wide Hedgehog has three rotating discs inside and is covered in solar panels and spikes. 

The mothership determines the hedgehog's position and orientation, it maps out a trajectory which it commands the rover to follow. As the wheels spin, the spikes dig in and the hedgehog hops, rolls, and tumbles over the lunar surface. The spikes ensure the hedgehog can gain purchase in any terrain. Scientific measurements will be relayed back to the Phobos Surveyor, which will forward the data to researchers back on Earth.

SOURCE: Stanford

Popular Science