NASA is testing a robotic wheel, shape-shifting






Plant a self-propelled machine on another planet - an extremely difficult task that requires several stages of descent, the use of parachutes, airbags and rocket engines. Therefore, NASA is very interested in creating a simple and reliable robots to significantly expand the program to explore the solar system.

In the Research Center NASA Ames Research Center have come up with to put electronics in the middle of rolling exoskeleton, which is able to move like one big wheel, changing its shape. So there was a robot design Super Ball Bot .




Weighing just a few pounds, these robots can be reset to the planet tens and even hundreds. For example, on Titan with a dense atmosphere and low gravity, they easily survive the landing, even if they just lose from a height of 100 km. Then decompose themselves - and the roll in different directions to explore the area. On Mars, however, have to use parachutes.

The movement of the robot by means of six servos that are synchronized with each other and figure out what direction to move the limbs to the entire structure just "rolled" forward.




The benefits of such a scheme set. This is referred to the cheapness and light weight, but also a great opportunity to explore the surrounding area that can not be done by one or two rovers conventional (on wheels). In addition, Super Ball Bot will not give in even terrain rover, he is able to go about rocks and rough terrain, climb hills and gently slide.



Source: habrahabr.ru/post/208038/

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