Walking Robot LAURON V – Planetary Sample Return Mission at DLR SpaceBot Camp 2015 / Video by FZIChannel
The bio-inspired, six-legged walking robot LAURON V participated as team LAUROPE (LAUfROboter für die Planetare Exploration, walking robot for planetary exploration) in the DLR SpaceBot Camp 2015. The challenge was initiated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR Raumfahrtmanagement) as a performance evaluation for space robotics. Ten research teams from all over Germany developed rover concepts to tackle one of the most challenging scenarios of space flight – the exploration of an unknown planet. LAURON V was equipped with a lightweight custom-built gripper on its leg, a 3D laser scanner system for autonomous navigation, and multiple cameras to cope with the various challenges, such as difficult terrain, steep slopes and the acquisition of samples. During the challenge, LAURON could not only show its terrain adaptability and flexibility of its behaviour-based control system by walking into a simulated crater, but also its autonomous capabilities. He acquired a 3D map of the environment, gathered and transported samples and autonomously navigated through the environment to explore and find all the objects. His human colleagues could only supervise the action and send high-level commands from a control station far away from the robot and with an added delay as it would be present in a real space mission.
LAUROPE was supported by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), based on a resolution of the German Parliament.
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