Germany’s Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg (JMU) have recently designed a Hamster ball which in reality is a robotic sphere. However, this new invented robot has been designed to explore the depths of lunar caves. Although, the DAEDALUS (Descent And Exploration in Deep Autonomy of Lunar Underground Structures) robot is currently being tested by ESA’s Concurrent Design Facility. Well, this ongoing test is a part of larger study of lunar cave mission concepts.
Hamster Ball Highlights
- The DEADALUS sphere has a diameter of 46 cm.
- This robot will have an alluring stereoscopic camera, a ‘laser radar’ for 3D mapping of cave interiors, a temperature sensor device, a radiation dosimeter along with a long supportive arms to remove all the obstacles on the path and testing properties of the rock.
- This robotic sphere will first land on the cave surface on a long tether and then will get detached so it can roll into the cave freely. Then that tether will get double and will act as a wi-fi receiver which will also help the sphere to get out of the pit.
According to the DEADALUS team
While talking about this Hamster Ball Dorit Borrmann of the DAEDALUS team explained about this robotic sphere and said that this robot has been designed according to the requirements to observe the surroundings in full 360 degrees along with it’s necessity to protect the interior from the harsh lunar environment. Also on one hand where the camera will act as a stereo vision system and laser will measure the distance then on the other hand the sphere will also work as a detector of obstacles so that it can land as well as navigates un-controllingly on the pit surface.
List of Universities/Agencies Partnering in this study
- Germany’s Jacobs University Bremen
- Department of Geosciences of the University of Padova
- INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Padova
- VIGEA-Virtual Geographic Agency of Reggio Emilia
- CIRA Space Exploration Technologies Department
However the evaluation of this Hamster ball is currently in process accompanying with various lunar cave exploration concepts.
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