In Antarctica, an autonomous robotic vehicle intended for remote planetary exploration is tested
Nomad, the autonomous robotic vehicle from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, which was developed with funding from NASA, has been driving for 10 days. January around Antarctica in search of meteorites. Last Saturday, the third day of the mission, the scientists already had a success to report: with rough probability Nomad has already found the first one.
Nomad, which looks a bit like a Beetle, is a prototype for robots that could once be used for remote sensing missions on other planets. The robot is 2.4 x 2.4 x 2.4 meters, weighs 725 kilograms, moves on four wheels at a speed of 50 centimeters per second and can pass over rough obstacles. Because of its coarseness, all four computers can be placed on it, enabling its autonomy. For the first time, a robot is now on the road to automatically track rocks from space and classify them with the instruments in its robotic arm. In the field in eastern Antarctica, scientists have already discovered more than 2,000 stones on Fubmarsch in seven years, including EET79001, which is believed to have come from Mars: "Until now, exploration robots have taken pictures, collected data, and brought back what they saw to scientists so they could make investigations and decisions", Says Red Whittacker, project leader. "This time Nomad will make his own assessments and conclusions about the stones he encounters."