Technology, RoboticsJuly 12, 2023Swiss engineers train legged robots for lunar exploration: A teamwork approach for resilient missionsSwiss engineers from ETH Zurich are training legged robots for future lunar missions focused on mineral and raw material exploration. To ensure the robots can continue working even if one malfunctions, the researchers are teaching them teamwork. Equipped with various measuring and analysis instruments, the researchers tested three legged robots called ANYmal on different terrains in Switzerland and at the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) in Luxembourg. The team of robots includes specialists programmed for mapping terrain, classifying geology, and identifying rocks using laser scanners, cameras, Raman spectrometers, and microscopy cameras. By combining specialists and a generalist robot, the team has redundancy and can compensate for potential failures. This approach impressed the jury at the ESRIC and ESA Space Resources Challenge, leading to the Swiss scientists and their colleagues being awarded a one-year research contract to further develop this technology. In addition to legged robots, the research will also involve robots with wheels, drawing on the experience of the FZI Research Center for Information Technology in Karlsruhe. The researchers also plan to enhance the autonomy of the robots, enabling them to assign tasks to each other and reducing the need for constant operator intervention.
Source: ETH Zurich