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NASA’s new rovers will be a team of hand-held robots working together


On board, each rover is equipped with a small computer, a wireless radio, and a stereo camera for 3D photography. While no one will be able to collect as much data as an adult can do, sending multiple ones at once can reduce the risk of serious job failure.

CADRE was developed within NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and tested by researchers on Simulated Lunar Operations Laboratory (SLOPE). at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. SLOPE is the same lab that tested VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover), a mobile robot that will launch in November 2023 and explore the ice water for a month.

One of the aims of the project is to curb what happened on NASA’s Mars rover, Spirit, back in 2009 – a nightmare for astronomers.

In one of the two twins sent to other parts of Mars in 2004, the Spirit gave the most detailed ideas of the Red Planet that humans have seen. But during the five years of his ministry, Spirit’s wheels sank into the soft sand of the Martian. NASA engineers worked for eight months to move it, but after several failures, Spirit was eventually relegated as a solid scientific platform.

In order to ensure that the new rovers do not stick, SLOPE mimics the unique terrain, from moon dirt to Martian rocks. Researchers are using dual-camera imaging technology to create thousands of 3D images that are used to measure the speed of each rover and the movement of its tires, enabling them to predict ground motion.

Schepelmann said: “The system allows us to better visualize how we pull.” We are able to measure how each part of the robot moves. “

Wolfgang Fink, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Arizona who studies autonomous screening techniques, says that even operators like Curiosity and Perseverance had less independence, independent change through projects such as CADRE will allow people to explore areas beyond our control. otherwise arrive.

On average, communication takes only a few seconds to travel between Earth and the moon, but that time lasts as long as the message to travel from Mars. Farther away from the Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, communication between mission missions and any lander or rover can take hours, which means any unexpected collision could put the whole operation at risk. The farther we go from home to research, the more independence we need.


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