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 ")

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...' - Philip K Dick, 1953.

Robot Motion Planning 10K Times Faster
'The robot crab... fired a burst of light, then froze...' - William Gibson, 1984.

Festo's eMotionButterfly, AirJelly And AirPenguin Robots
... Bright beings darted through the hot light.' - Rudy Rucker, 1988.

Robot Animals Set To 'Spy in the Wild'
'[The electric sheep], sophisticated piece of hardware that it was, chomped away in simulated contentment...' - Philip K. Dick, 1968.

 

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

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...'

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...'

EU Debates Kill Switches For Robots
'I have a mechanism which our autofac on Mars builds as an... emergency safety...'

Scotland Set To Implement Basic Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Sales Robots More Persistent Than Humans
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing,,, shrilling...'

AI Identifies Suicidal Behavior With 93 Percent Accuracy
'...He padded into the living room, and seated himself by the suitcase; he opened it, clicked switches, and turned on Dr. Smile.'

Razer Project Valerie Laptop Unfurls
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently...'

Can Virtual Reality help People Cope With Pain?
Research is promising.

Dust Movement On The Moon, Saturn's Rings Solved
'...The dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'

Largest Micro-Drone Swarm Release Successful
'... Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Robot Motion Planning 10K Times Faster
'The robot crab... fired a burst of light, then froze...'

Reconfigured Graphene 10X Strong, 5 Percent Dense, As Steel
'...It was made of Alohydrolium, which is the lightest of all metals.'

Axiom - The World's First Private Space Station?
'So Webb Foster had built his space laboratory... It was a great crystal sphere, a thousand feet in diameter.'

DataTraveler Ultimate Generation 2 Terabyte Flashdrive
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary data spheres...'

HyperFace Aims To Foil Facial Recognition
'...A million and a half physiognomic fraction-representations of various people.'

MIT's aeroMorph Technology
'... It falls into that structure like a rubber figure returning to shape.'

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.