Research

 

Main research topics of this project were:

  1. Locomotion in harsh envionment, with steep slopes and fluid-like terrain
  2. Teleoperation with no direct view of the operations field
  3. Communications without line-of-sight links

 

Background (form ESA's web site):

 

As interest in exploration of the Moon soars among the world's space agencies, ESA, through its General Studies Programme, has challenged university students to develop a robotic vehicle that is capable of working in difficult terrain, comparable to that found at the lunar poles.

The rover had to be able to move from a "landing site" to the rim of a lunar-like crater, descend to the bottom of the 15 m deep crater, locate and retrieve at least 0.1 kg of selected, visually distinctive, soil samples from the bottom of the crater and return to the "landing site". When descending and climbing the rim of the crater the rover had to be capable of driving on slopes with an incline of up to 40 degrees.

The rover had to be remotely operated from a workstation located outside the crater, from where there was no direct visibility of the crater or its rim. And all this had to be done in light which cast very long shadows at the rim and total darkness in the crater