NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Phase I Award Funding: up to $125,000 Study Period: 9 months
ReachBot: Small Robot for Large Mobile Manipulation Tasks in Martian Cave Environments Marco Pavone Stanford University Stanford, Calif.
The objective of this effort is to develop a mission architecture where a long-reach crawling and anchoring robot, which repurposes extendable booms for mobile manipulation, is deployed to explore and sample difficult terrains on planetary bodies, with a key focus on Mars exploration. To this end, the robot concept we present here, called ReachBot, uses rollable extendable booms as manipulator arms and as highly reconfigurable structural members.
The NASA Innovative Advance Concepts (NASA) program has awarded Marco Pavone of Stanford University a Phase II grant to continue development of small exploration vehicles that would hop and tumble across the surfaces of asteroids, moons and comets.
The spacecraft/rover hybrids would be deployed from a mother ship orbiting the body to be explored. Their movements would be controlled by three internal flywheels.
The award is worth up to $500,000. The earlier Phase I award was worth up to $100,000.