[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Successful long-term settlements on the Moon will need a supply of resources such as oxygen and water, yet the process of regularly transporting these resources from Earth would be prohibitively costly and dangerous. One alternative would be an approach using heterogeneous, autonomous robotic teams, which could collect and extract these resources from the surrounding environment ( in-situ resource utilization ). The WhegsÂ¿ robotic platform, with its demonstrated capability to negotiate obstacles and traverse irregular terrain, is a good candidate for a lunar rover concept. In this research, Lunar WhegsÂ¿ is constructed as a proof-of-concept rover that would be able to navigate the surface of the moon, collect a quantity of regolith, and transport it back to a central processing station. The robot incorporates an actuated scoop, specialized feet for locomotion on loose substrates, light detection and ranging (LIDAR) obstacle sensing and avoidance, and sealing and durability features for operation in an abrasive environment.
Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2009. IROS 2009. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on; 11/2009