SandBot – the Robot for navigation in the sand of Mars

As you know, the Mars rover named Spirit died four years ago in the Red planet.

Its aluminum wheels sank in a sandy trap. Spirit landed on Mars in January 2004. Its last signal was six years later. The first sign that the Mars could have been a violent place was created by the Spirit. For future the robotic legs of this rover gives the physicist the new idea for creating the new Martian rovers. The physicist from UC Berkeley research lab Chen Li, combined a robot, which has six legs and can run in a bed of sand faster than any Martian spacecraft. The robot named by SandBot may help the experts of robots, to create more “terradynamic” robots, which can more closely mimic the way today’s animals move on the ground. Also, Chen works in electrical Ronal Fearing’s Biommetic Millisystems lab. In this lab the experts create such robots, which can crawl, walk, run, fly and scale the vertical walls with sticky feet as geckos. In this lab Chen added sensors to the SandBot. The sensors allows the robot to see and feel its environment. The wheels of Mars robots, Curiosity and Opportunity can travel with a speed of only 1,5 inches per second. But the robot SandBot can travel with speed 23,6 inches per second. Chen developed mathematical equations for solving the problem of robot-in-sand and he has a hope that one day robots with legs will be sent to Mars or other planets to help humans with their explorations.