Sticky feet could help robots land on asteroids
Washington: A new biologically inspired robot could one day crawl over the surface of an asteroid or Mars and gather samples for study using lots of tiny, mechanical “toes.”
Asteroids have a weak gravitional pull, which makes it difficult for a robot probe to drive or walk across the rock.
Now, a robotics researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has created super-gripping feet that could secure a robot and make asteriod mining possible.
Aaron Parness recently presented his gripper at the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) annual robotics conference, IEEE`s Spectrum magazine reported.
NASA and other countries` space agencies have sent several missions to observe asteroids. So far, however, NASA spacecraft haven`t directly gathered samples from an asteroid.
Parness` robotic feet would allow asteroid probes to cling to the surface of even small asteroids, whose weaker gravitational pull might put a traditional rolling or walking probe at risk of “accidentally jettisoning itself into space,” the Discovery News quoted Parness as writing in a paper.
A future Mars or other planetary mission might also use a sticky-footed robot to scale cliffs, Parness added.
One of the robotic feet Parness created consists of 16 fat, stubby toes arranged in a circle. Each toe has 12 “microspines,” tiny steel hooks attached to a flexible suspension system. When the foot drags its microspines over the slightly rough surface of a rock, the hooks can attach to small dips or protrusions on the rock surface.
Parness` tests showed his robotic feet could resist more than 100 Newtons, a unit of force. They could probably resist more, he wrote, but right now, the test consists of having someone use a robot foot to pick rocks up from the ground, so he`s limited by the strongest person he can recruit to help. He`s working on creating a machine to test heavier rocks, he wrote.
He also found the foot can hold a drill to a basalt rock, boring out a sample half an inch (12 millimeters) in diameter which, during a mission, a probe could analyze or send back to Earth. The gripping drill works in several positions, including upside down and sticking straight out the side of the rock.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Para athlete Deepa Malik complains of callous service by Air India
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Smriti Irani visits Amethi, promises to pay insurance money to 25,000 women
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- One year of Modi govt: Amit Shah addresses media
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow