Trends in Robotic Space Exploration Rovers

In 2005 we witnessed the Mars Rover just keep on trucking like the Energizer Bunny, putting even the famous "takes licking and keeps on ticking" Timex Watch commercials to shame. Robotics have certainly made incredible strides here on Earth with robotic surveillance aircraft, autonomous cars cruising driverless through the harsh desert, vacuuming your home and even in factories building the next generation of hybrid automobiles.But Robotics have also made their mark on Martian Soil, on the Surface of Mars with tiny tracks from six mechanical wheels moving over hills and dales and rough terrain. 2005 was a year when our robotic scientists proved to this world and the next that there is nothing that humans cannot do, once they put their innovative minds to it and use their human intent to press on. Truly 2005 was an amazing year for robotic researchers to strut their stuff.In 2006 we will see new designs in robotic exploration robots, once which will be spherical and use haptics methods for propulsion moving the inside center of gravity to move along.

We will also see protruding spiked wheels to power up steeper terrain and systems, which can lift the rovers over rocks and steep embankments. We will also see self-assembly techniques for moving over rock formations, crossing gullies and assisting in Lunar Colony, mining manufacturing plant and life support construction for later human arrivals. We will see these concepts put forth in realistic terms. So, think on this in 2006.


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By: Lance Winslow


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