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­pc Students Try to Send a Spherical Robot to the Moon

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PicoRover robot

The Picorover robot has shown in tests that it can roll uphill and keep traction on slippery surfaces.

Credit: Joshua Tristancho / Team Frednet

Students at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya's Castelldefels School of Technology are working with Team FREDNET to place a small robot named PicoRover on the Moon. The robot is equipped with a built-in camera to send images from the lunar surface back to Earth.

The prototype uses a spherical design that enables it to move along the lunar surface in low gravity and on uneven surfaces. The team plans to develop a fully autonomous robot capable of moving or stopping on the lunar surface as required. The team has developed controls for the device, which consist of a small computer equipped with Wi-Fi that weighs two grams.

The current model is a 12-centimeter ball housing a motor, a battery, a remote control system, and a high-definition camera, all weighing less than 250 grams. The group also is developing antennas for sending the images back to Earth.

View a video of the PicoRover's counterweight rolling mechanism.

From Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya
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