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Mars Robotics Space Hardware

Stanford Team Developing Spiked Robots To Explore Phobos 49

cylonlover writes "Robot hedgehogs on the moons of Mars may sound like the title of a B-grade sci-fi movie, but that is what Stanford University is working on. Marco Pavone, an assistant professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and his team are developing spherical robots called 'hedgehogs' that are about half a meter (1.6 ft) wide and covered in spikes to better cope with rolling and hopping across the surface of the Martian moon Phobos with its very low gravity."
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Stanford Team Developing Spiked Robots To Explore Phobos

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  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by bws111 (1216812) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @10:19AM (#42450321)

    The spikes aren't providing traction or propulsion, they are holding it above the surface. It moves by inertia. There are three spinning disks that they change the rotation of, and that change in rotation makes the thing 'fall over', and hence move.

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.