Packs of robot dogs are set to ‘take over’ the Moon and help us find water, researchers reveal

LUNAR rover robot dogs have begun their race to space, scientists say.

These autonomous machine animals have been unleashed in search of precious resources on the moon.

Moon dogs could soon be in search of lunar water, scientists announced


Moon dogs could soon be in search of lunar water, scientists announced

Two European technology institutions have released dog-like moon lunar rover prototypes, The Daily Beast said.

Swiss researchers at Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology made theirs with help from the University of Zurich.

In Karlsruhe, Germany, the Research Center for Information Technology made the competing model.

The teams were contestants in the European Space Agency’s lunar polar challenge, and both of these top-five finalists used a robot dog design to fight their way to the finish.

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This competition gave European and Canadian engineers the chance to concoct their own moon rover.

Acquiring precious resources for lunar habitats and research is the goal, and the winners are to be awarded prize cash.

There will even be an opportunity to realize their winning design and take it to the moon, circumstances permitting.

Team Zurich gave the judges a GLIMPSE: their Geological Lunar In-Situ Mapper and Prospector for Surface which they claim has sensoral mineral detection/

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“[Our university is] one of the pioneers in legged locomotion and we ultimately want to work towards a system that can be deployed in space to enable scientific discovery in areas where wheeled rovers are not able to go,” Robotic Systems Lab engineer at ETH Zurich, Hendrik Kolvenbach, said to The Daily Beast.

Kolvenbach explained that the walking design is superior to a wheeled on when it comes to unpredictable terrain.

This design and others are born from the idea that exploring the lunar south pole could mean a discovery of necesseties for later generations to occupy the moon.

One of these resources is ice, which such lunar tenants could use to make drinking water.

ESA even created a mock terrain for the teams to navigate their design over, with Kolvenbach saying GLIMPSE will “provide a 3D map and identify and measure resources” on the surface of the moon.

William Whitaker is participating in two different projects at Carnegie Mellon University centered around lunar rovers.

His expertise from both th Iris lunar rover and the MoonRanger make him unsure of the terrain that the ESA mocked up for their scientists to conquer.

“If you look at the surface of the moon, you’d never see a terrain that looks like this,” he said to The Daily Beast.

While Whitaker criticized a four-legged rover choice, Kovenbach said that the dog design gives it ample opportunity to get into “craters with steep slopes, boulder fields, cracks, or even caves.”

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Plus, AI capabilities mean it could link up with other rover dogs in the future.

Developments may still be in early stages for this robot-powered deep-dive into lunar research, but seeing a dog on the moon suddenly isn’t so far-fetched.

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