We are working to integrate three habitability instruments onto a rock-climbing robot, LEMUR 3. The robot has four limbs, each with seven degrees of freedom. To anchor to the rock, the robot uses microspine grippers, which employ 1000s of sharp hooks that opportunistically grip rough areas of the rock’s surface. Significant effort is being spent to improve the perception and autonomy of the robot during this task.
The system will perform vertical transects on canyon walls in Death Valley, CA, pit crater walls in Volcanoes National Park, HI, and lava tube walls and ceilings in El Malpais, NM. These field campaigns will demonstrate the cross-cutting applicability of the system to both notional human and robotic missions to Mars, our Moon, and small bodies.
Aaron Parness - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) funded