There’s a new “mini” Mars Rover that has special features to keep it from dying on missions. The mini rover was created through 3D printing, and it’s made from commercially available parts.
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When a rover explores planetary surfaces, it could get stuck when it encounters soft, loose, and steep soils. This was the case when NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit became entrapped, ending its mobility.
With this, Georgia Tech worked with NASA to create a new Mars Rover that has wheeled appendages that can lift and wheels that can wiggle. This enables the rover to push sad and gravel behind it to lessen its chances of getting stuck.
(ALSO READ: NASA’s new Mars 2020 rover gets official name)
According to the study published in Science Robotics, “Mini Rover’s locomotion combines aspects from both legged and wheeled robots, with appendages that intrude to provide propulsion (leg-like) while also spinning to disturb the local terrain through shear.”
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