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Science:新的太空机器人在其它世界只会跳跃不会行驶

标签:机器人 太空
摘要 : Neil Armstrong(尼尔•阿姆斯特朗)在星际实现了人类的一跃,但如果一个新的机器人探测器进入太空,可能很快也会是一蹦一跳的样子。

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Neil Armstrong(尼尔•阿姆斯特朗)在星际实现了人类的一跃,但如果一个新的机器人探测器进入太空,可能很快也会是一蹦一跳的样子。这个探测车被称为“高原地形跳跃器”,或HOPTER,它将采用跳跃,而非行驶,的形式探索其它星球的表面。这些工作的大部分目前是由静止着陆器平台或是可以行进数千公里的带轮子的漫步车来完成的。这两者均有局限性:着陆器无法探索周边以外的地区,而更自由的漫步车无法在超低重力环境中工作,因为它们的车轮在那里无法贴住地面(如小行星、彗星和火星卫星的表面)。漫步车还会受到那些难以横跨的地形的进一步限制;这让针对多山地形的研究变得很具有挑战性,从而妨碍我们掌握其它行星地质状况的关键信息。为了解决这些问题,一个由工程师和行星地质学家组成的团队决定设计一款运动形式极为不同的探测车——跳跃的探测车。对于机器人来说,跳跃是一种绕过、穿过,或跨过比它们大得多的障碍物的高效方式。虽然HOPTER不是第一个会跳的探测车——例如,火星勘测着陆器可以在平坦的地形之间进行有节制的弹道式跳跃——HOPTER的低重量中心、高机动性,以及简单、强大的设计使其成为探索各种重力环境下的高低不平的山区地形的理想人选。HOPTER仍处于设计阶段,但一旦建成,它将拥有一个直径70厘米的可逆圆盘,搭配三个可以独立喷火的腿,这些腿可以在像火星这样的星球上将它投射到最高4米的空中(见上图)。有了这些腿,HOPTER将能够精确地在陡峭的岩坡上下行进,从滑跤和摔倒中站起,甚至跳越那些是它好几倍高的障碍。这种机器的重量相对较轻,这意味着能够同时部署几个探测车来探索一颗行星的表面,执行从简单的图片拍摄到复杂的三维地球物理调查的各种任务。下一步,研究人员说,是要开发一个工作原型,一个他们已经加入跳跃功能的东西。

原文链接:

New space robot would hop—not drive—across other worlds

原文摘要:

Neil Armstrong sent mankind leaping through the stars, but if a new robotic explorer makes it into space, we may soon be hopping instead. Called the Highland Terrain Hopper, or HOPTER, the vehicle will use hopping—instead of driving—to explore the surface of other planets. Most of this work is currently done by stationary lander platforms or wheeled rovers, which can travel many kilometers. Both have limitations: Landers cannot investigate areas beyond their immediate surroundings, and the more mobile rovers don’t work in ultra–low gravity environments, wher their wheels won’t adhere to the ground (like on asteroids, comets, and the martian moons). Rovers are further limited by difficult-to-cross landscapes; this makes studying mountainous terrains challenging, depriving us of key insights into the geology of other planetary bodies. To solve these problems, a team of engineers and planetary geologists decided to design a vehicle with a very different form of locomotion-hopping. Hopping is a highly efficient way for robots to navigate around, through, and over obstacles far larger than themselves. Although the HOPTER is not the first exploration vehicle to hop—the Mars Reconnaissance Lander could make controlled ballistic jumps between flat terrains, for example—the HOPTER’s low center of mass, high maneuverability, and simple, robust design make it the ideal candidate for exploring uneven and mountainous terrain across a broad range of gravitational environments. The HOPTER is still in the design phase, but when it is built, it will feature a 70 cm–diameter reversible disc with three independently firing legs that can project it up to 4 meters into the air on a planet like Mars (see picture, above). With these legs, the HOPTER will be able to precisely navigate up and down steep rock slopes, recover from slips and falls, and even leap over obstacles many times its height. The platform’s relatively light weight means that several could be deployed simultaneously to explore the surface of a planet, allowing for everything from simple picture taking to complex, 3D geophysical surveys. The next step, researchers say, is to develop a working prototype—something they are already getting the bounce on.

来源: Science 浏览次数:0

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