date of publication:
May 13, 2022 7:30 GMT
Update date: May 13 2022 8:55 GMT
Researchers at ETH Research Universities in Zurich and Zurich in Switzerland have developed a quadruple robot in the form of a dog, to perform the task of a robotic explorer on the moon.
The robot reached the final stage in the competition to discover resources in space.
The long-range goal of the robot is to discover the south pole of the moon.
It is expected that the south pole on the moon contains useful resources, such as minerals, frozen water and oxygen stored in rocks, and to find them, lunar missions need a robot capable of withstanding difficult conditions.
The robot may carry out sensitive tasks in areas where movement is difficult, and the ability to use light measuring tools is hampered by the low angle of sunlight and thick layers of dust, as well as temperature fluctuations.
The European Space Agency and the European Space Resources Innovation Center called on European and Canadian engineering teams to create robots and tools capable of discovering the south pole of the moon, in a specific area between Fausten and Shoemaker craters.
The lunar module “Glimpses” is one of the 13 vehicles participating in the competition, and it resembles a dog a little, and it can move semi-automatically on its four legs, and it is equipped with many tools that distinguish the types of rocks.
The robotic technology in the Glimpses project is based on the Animal Robot model developed by ETH, which is equipped with tools to chemically analyze rocks and to distinguish rock types, as well as a microscope and a camera with a magnifying lens.
Team leader Florian Kehl, a researcher from the University of Zurich, said: “Glimpses succeeded in its first test with 13 other robots, and excelled in navigating through a satellite prepared for the competition.”
“The test spanned two and a half hours, and involved the robot making its way across the strange surface, toward a lunar crater, which must analyze its rocks, and then study its data within an hour and a half, which is a tight schedule,” Kehl explained. According to TechExplore.com.
During the test, the team was not able to directly see the surface of the lunar Earth, but relied on the robot’s camera recordings and location data processed similar to satellite data.
One of the difficulties was the delay in the arrival of control signals to the vehicle, in order to simulate the real conditions, and communication with the robot was also completely cut off sometimes, and at this stage the robots with autonomous technology outperformed.
Kiehl pointed out that the robot “Glimpses” encountered some problems, but it was able to overcome them in the first round of the competition and move efficiently on the specified path, thanks to its possession of four legs, which was able to move efficiently on the specified path.
Researchers are currently working on improving the robot’s performance to reach the finals in Luxembourg this year, with the participation of 5 teams that reached the final, with the winning team winning 550,000 euros to develop its robot.