IIT Kanpur makes prototype of lunar robot for ISRO
Moving a step ahead in a nationally relevant space project, the IIT Kanpur has developed a prototype of a lunar robot for ISRO mission to the moon.delhi Updated: Mar 19, 2012 22:50 IST
Moving a step ahead in a nationally relevant space project, the IIT Kanpur has developed a prototype of a lunar robot for ISRO mission to the moon.
The project, which was started in 2010 has a larger objective to send a mobile robot to the moon for performing experiments and developing maps of the lunar terrain.
There were fundamentally two components which had to be completed by IITK, Dr Ashish Dutta, Associate Professor of mechanical engineering said. This included the structured light based 3D map generation of lunar terrain that is being carried out by Dr. K.S. Venkatesh, Associate Professor of Electrical engineering.
“As there is no ready made map of the lunar surface, the focus is to use structured light to generate a map of the lunar terrain after landing. Based on the map the robot is expected to move from one point to another for experiments,” Dr Dutta told HT.
The second component is kinematics and path planning. After the map is generated the robot has to move to a desired location. As the lunar terrain consists of dust, rocks etc the robot has to choose the safest path to travel by.
The focus of this part is to analyse all the possible feasible paths and then choose the best path in terms of safety and least energy consumption, he said, Underlining the major challenges confronted he said the lunar terrain consists of rocks, ash and craters.
Planning motion in such an environment is extremely difficult, as there is no scope of mistakes.
Besides the gravity on the moon is 1/6 that of earth and hence the design has to consider this sub gravity conditions.