Lunar and Planetary Rover

At International Robot Exhibition 2009, Chuo University’s Intelligent Remote Control Lab presented the micro6-02 Lunar and Planetary Rover. The purpose of this robot is to advance lunar and planetary exploration by Japan. The theme of the exhibit was “field robots.” It presented advances in simulation of autonomous movement using motion algorithms, and collaboration technology for interactive operation by robots and humans, with trajectory and destination instructions from ground control. On planets far from Earth, robots must recognize their own location, avoid dangerous routes, and bring back rock samples from their destination. To control these operations remotely, command systems and telemetry systems are used, with optimal instructions displayed on screen. One of the unique features of this robot is Shadow Range Finder technology. This can efficiently obtain 3D data about the planetary surface, using just a single camera and the shadow of the robot’s arm. The arm on this robot is made of light, strong carbon, and it has five joints. It’s driven by an ultrasonic motor, to keep power consumption on standby low. The Kunii Lab will continue to improve the precision of this system, with the aim of making it practical to use.

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