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Scientists Develop Hopping Robot for Mars Exploration

4 years ago241 views

GeoBeats

Geo Beats

A team of researchers from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and Astrium, a European space company has come up with another way for a future Mars robot to get around.


The robotic vehicles that have been designed for use on Mars have wheels to move them around the surface of our neighboring red planet.
Sometimes, because of the rough, rocky terrain, the rovers’ wheels can have trouble maneuvering.

So a team of researchers from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and Astrium, a European space company has come up with another way for a future Mars robot to get around.

The researchers are working on a hopping robot that would leap from one safe landing spot to another using a radioisotope thermal rocket engine calculated to jump almost 3000 feet at a time.

Hugo Williams from the Space Research Centre at the University of Leicester said: “The advantage of this approach is that you have the ability to traverse more aggressive terrains but also that you have wider mobility - the possibility of traversing much greater distances than we have with even the very successful rovers.”

The design of the hopper is still being perfected, but the design works without hydraulic fluids, and can reportedly carry an estimated 44 pounds worth of scientific instruments.