JALURO Lunar Robot - 2-Wheeled Open Source

JALURO is an open source two-wheeled lunar exploration robot. The robot is the entry of Team FREDNET in the Google Lunar X-Prize competition. JALURO, which stands for Just Another LUnar RObot, carries its payload underslung between two wheels, as shown in the picture below.


(JALURO 2-wheeled lunar robot)

Charlie Masi, of Control Engineering, has this to say about the design:

Being underslung, it is in stable static equilibrium. Having independently controlled motors for each wheel, it is fairly simple to drive forward, backward, and to make turns in any direction with any radius from zero to infinity. It really is a neat concept!

The problem is that the underslung chassis acts like a pendulum or, more precisely, a rocking chair. Notice that the rocking amplitude seems almost random, depending mainly on the shape of any disturbing impulses. The problem is most obvious when the vehicle comes to a stop. The chassis can be seen to rock forward and back for some time after the forward motion ceases. This will be worse on the Moon, where there is no damping from air resistance to slow the motion down...

The good news is that this problem is apparently surmountable, with an equation of motion that is "fairly straightforward." Take a look at this test video of JALURO:

FREDNET is the only open-source entry in the X-Prize competition; they have a pretty exciting idea - that space is open for everyone! The following video contains a description of their program and vision.


(FREDNET mission statement video)

I'm sure there are lunar exploration robots elsewhere in science fiction, but somehow I was reminded of Arthur C. Clarke's spider tripod robot from his 1972 novel Rendezvous With Rama. It is also a "neat concept", and it has some obvious control challenges. (If you think a three-legged robot is impossible, take a look at the STriDER Tripedal Dynamic Experimental Robot .)

Learn more about Team FREDNET and their open-source approach. See also Ask Charlie comments on 2-wheel robotic vehicles. Also, take a look at nearly forty different Arthur C. Clarke ideas and inventions.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/21/2009)

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 ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

NASA's Highway In The Sky For Drones
Jeff Bezos may find that there are rules to drones.

Monsieur Bartending Robot
'He poured the liquids into his maw...'- Anthony Boucher, 1943.

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...'- Anthony Boucher, 1951.

 

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.