Terrain robotics is not something new in the field of mechatronics. And NASA has been researching about all-terrain rovers for a long time now. However, the space organization was not able to visit and perform research on rocky areas using its current set of rovers. But recently, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from NASA, was able to build a rover that can easily climb high vertical surfaces, and cling on to rough areas. The NASA robot, LEMUR, is part of its restoration works for the International Space Station (ISS).
LEMUR stands for Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot. This is mainly because the NASA robot is just like the biological counterpart with the same name. The robot has 4 limbs fit outside with small hook grippers which cling on to rough surfaces and begin climbing. The Lemurs, a primate of the animal kingdom, is also a natural climber.
— Dr. Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) August 15, 2019
NASA Robot: LEMUR, the new all-terrain robot
This new robot has the ability to climb the Death Valley in California, a feat covered by very few humans. Previously, it was difficult for NASA to use its rovers for a full surface scan of all planets. Because none of the other rovers have the ability to go over rocky or mountainous surfaces. But this robot has the potential to do the same.
In its adventure on top of the Death Valley, the NASA robot was able to multitask by climbing the surface and analyzing the fossil features using its biosignature detection and studying mechanism. All in all the NASA robot, LEMUR is a step in the right direction. It is not impossible to create terrain robots, but it is difficult. Boston Dynamics has been creating robots which help in fighting the Coronavirus pandemic.
Much research is going on in the field of all-terrain robotics for a long time now. It is important to research on them because they help scan different surfaces of planets. Let us know what you think about LEMUR in the comments section below!