Home / Civilian / NASA Develops Folding Robot for Rugged Terrains

NASA Develops Folding Robot for Rugged Terrains

NASA has developed an origami-inspired robot designed to fold itself and explore rugged areas deemed “too risky” for rovers.

The agency said Tuesday the Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot has been tested in various terrains such as the Mojave Desert in California, a ski resort in Colorado and an active volcano in Antartica.

The solar-powered PUFFER robot works to fold its two wheels over the main body to crawl into spaces where rovers cannot fit, NASA added.

PUFFER’s developers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory aim to launch the robot for planetary expeditions such as the Mars mission.

“If Curiosity had a stack of PUFFERs on board, each of them could go to separate spots, and the rover would just go to the most interesting one,” said Kalind Carpenter, a robotics engineer at JPL.

JPL scientists look to add various instruments into PUFFER which could allow the robot to sample water for organic material as well as study the chemical composition of its environment.

PUFFER could also become as large as a breadbox and feature smart technology such as autonomy, NASA said.

JPL manages PUFFER as part of NASA’s Game Changing Development program which aims to explore ideas and approaches that could address technological issues and support future space missions

Check Also

Navy Seeking to Establish Analytics Unit Addressing Fleet Readiness

Adm. Christopher Grady, head of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, said during the WEST 2019 conference he intends to create a Fleet Analytics Office supporting the U.S. Navy fleet readiness efforts, USNI reported Tuesday. Grady noted that the new office will use real-time reporting systems to handle data collection and risk assessment operations under the Revolutionize Readiness Campaign Plan initiative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *