Scarab Lunar Prospecting Robot

A prototype lunar prospecting robot called "Scarab" has been developed at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute.


(Scarab lunar prospecting robot)

David Wettergreen, leader of Scarabís software and autonomy development, said, "This is a technology development program that is focusing on extracting hydrogen and oxygen from lunar soil." At present, NASA has no plans for a robotic Moon mission. (However, other countries are working on it.)

Once Scarab and its kin have crawled the Moon, developers will use the lessons learned to utilize resources in the soil of other planets.

The drill on the robot is able to obtain "meter-long geological core samples and features a novel rocker-arm suspension that enables the robot to plant its belly on the ground." By placing the drill at the center of the robot's body, Scarab is able to apply sufficient downward force for drilling while keeping its weight at 250 kilograms.

Scarab solves the problem of working in dark craters (not to mention the 14 day lunar night) by using an advanced sterling radioisotope generator (ASRG). The ASRG is a device that converts the heat of isotope decay into electrical power. This generator provides energy for ten years of activity.

Science fiction writers have been thinking about mining on the moon for at least seventy-five years; Ray Cummings wrote a very lucid description of lunar mining in 1931. However, I can't think of any sf writers thinking that autonomous robots would be a good tool for lunar (or other) mining. Readers?

Via The Tartan (Carnegie Mellon's student newspaper).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/17/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Revisiting A Cloud City On Venus
I've been looking forward to something like this since 1980.

'Windowless Cockpit' Like Star Trek's Patent Applied For
Wait - you thought Sulu had a window?

NASA's Warp Speed Starship Design
'As Earth's faster-than-light spaceship hung in the void between galaxies...'- John W. Campbell

ForceShoes, NASA's Exercise Sandals For Astronauts
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses.'- Murray Leinster, 1953.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

NASA's Highway In The Sky For Drones
Traffic is everywhere.

Palcohol Powdered Alcohol - Try Or Ban?
'I had a small can of powdered alcohol disguised as tooth powder...'

pd.id Personal Drink ID Device Like Dune 'Poison Snooper'
'The jeweled hands clutching drinks (and the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers)...'

Monsieur Bartending Robot
'He poured the liquids into his maw...'

Cities Detect Gunfire Acoustics With ShotSpotter
'Sound trackers on the roof...'

Cruise Automation's 'Highway Autopilot' For $10K
'It cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car...'

Pengheng Space Capsule Hotel Staffed Entirely By Robots
'A planet-wide chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Electric Bacteria That Live On Pure Energy
'April 5, 1977; that was the night the waveries came.'

EXACTO Smart Bullet From DARPA
Nicely visualized in what 1984 movie?

Neural Implant To Treat Memory Loss
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

MIT's Shape-Shifting Robot Materials
The T-100, an advanced prototype, is made of liquid metal. Not quite ready.

LS3 AlphaDog Robot Marine Corps Video
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs, so necessary since roads had degenerated...'

Vantablack Is Blacker Than Your Black
'Well, we have a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'

Remotely Operated Gardening Rover - Student's Space Agricultural Robot
'There were things growing all over the place, not just in some domed enclosures blasted some millions of miles out in to space.'

Revisiting A Cloud City On Venus
Lando Calrissian, are you still available?

'Windowless Cockpit' Like Star Trek's Patent Applied For
Mr. Sulu, take us out.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.