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 ")

Are There Diamond Planets?
'I believe the whole central portion of the earth is one great diamond.' - Frank Stockton, 1897.

Brick By Brick, Building Martian Bases
Don't try to boost everything from the surface of the Earth.

Cool 'Single-Person Spaceships' Have Better SF Name
'A cabin so small, you couldn't stand up with the air lock closed..' - Larry Niven, 1969.

Skating On Mars' Frozen Pools
'They went down, put on their skates, and started.' - Robert Heinlein, 1949.

 

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

SuperMeat - Crowdfunding Pohl/Kornbluth's Chicken Little
'Chicken Little, who would be sliced and packed to feed people from Baffinland to Little America.'

Martian-Grown Food Might Be Fine
'I donít want to come off as arrogant here, but Iím the best botanist on the planet.'

MARLO Robot Attempts Wave Field
'It is apparent that he will walk before his human brother.'

3RDiTEK Lifeblogging Headband Camera
'It's logging anyway - everything you see on duty goes into the black box.'

3D-Printed Biohybrid Is A Tissue-Engineered Robot
'The directing neurological tissue that forms the basis of the swibble is alive...'

Steerable Locusts Detect Explosives
Science fiction writers again provide a blueprint for the future.

No Human Drivers By 2040 - Israel
'It's been a criminal offense,,, to drive manually on a public highway.'

Graphene Ultracapacitor Airships For Heavy Lifting
'The war-balloons were to be kept for purposes of transportation of heavy articles...'

Uber Hires Robot Security Guard
'The robot studied the identification clip.'

Mind-Altering Drugs Administered Deep Into The Brain
'Happy to serve!'

Are There Diamond Planets?
'I believe the whole central portion of the earth is one great diamond.'

Robot Lawyers And Robot Judges Now Everywhere
'The law clerk arrived, a smallish robot with a battered stainless steel hide and dull coppery features.'

Roam-e Flying Selfie Drone Cam
'Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me...'

Chemputer To Grow Bespoke Drones Through Chemistry
'These are your rudimentary seed packages...'

Walmart Shopping Cart Robots Will Follow You
'...the machine would carry his bag in its soft plastic jaws...'

DoNotPay Lawyer Program Contests Parking Tickets
'I want my lawyer program.'

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.