The RIMRES Project Will Explore Craters On The Moon (+VIDEO)
The DFKI Robotics Innovation Center is collaborating with the ZARM (Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity) on robots that may in future help explore craters on the Moon in search of water ice. The RIMRES (Reconfigurable Integrated Multi Robot Exploration System) project includes the CREX, a six-legged robot and the SHERPA rover. The SHERPA rover is a 2.4-meter (7.8-foot) long, 200-kg (440-pound) transporter designed to carry a scout robot to and from lunar craters, which it can lift and carry under its belly or with a 1.8-meter (5.9-foot) long arm. Due to the hybrid wheel-leg system with adaptive suspension it can quickly move over bumpy terrain on its wheels, but can lift each of its four legs independently. The CREX (Crater Explorer) hexapod is too small and slow to get around the lunar space on its own: it measures just one meter (3.2 feet) in length and weighs only 27 kg (60 pounds). To be able to get over the steep slopes of a crater’s rim, the hexapod’s each leg has four joints and multiple sensors which help it walk on uneven terrain.