The RIMRES project combines the hexapod CREX (red robot at middle) and its transporter, SHERPA


German robots could team up to explore lunar craters

By Jason Falconer
March 6, 2013

While Japan is gearing up to send a miniature humanoid robot to the International Space Station, the DFKI Robotics Innovation Center and the ZARM (Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity) are working on a pair of robots that may one day help explore craters on the Moon in search of water ice. The RIMRES (Reconfigurable Integrated Multi Robot Exploration System) project combines a six-legged robot that can be picked up and moved with a faster wheeled transporter.

The SHERPA rover, a 2.4-meter (7.8-foot) long, 200-kg (440-pound) transporter moves using a hybrid wheel-leg system with adaptive suspension. It is therefore able to quickly move over bumpy terrain on its wheels, but can lift each of its four legs independently to climb over boulders or free itself should it become stuck. Its primary duty is to transport a scout robot to and from lunar craters, which it can lift and carry under its belly or with a 1.8-meter (5.9-foot) long arm.

Read more: German robots could team up to explore lunar craters — gizmag.

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