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Video shows off new centaur-like robotic lunar rover in action

New test footage shows the new robotic lunar rover from GITAI, named the R1, at a JAXA test facility emulating lunar conditions.

@AdamHuntTT
Published Jun 10, 2022 6:34 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Jul 4 2022 1:06 AM CDT

The new robotic lunar rover has a humanoid upper body and four wheeled legs, resembling a centaur from Greek mythology, a creature with a human upper body and the lower body of a horse.

The lunar rover is called the R1 robot and was developed by GITAI, a space robotics startup, in partnership with Japan's space agency, JAXA. The R1 has two arms with articulating claws for hands, cameras on its head that resemble eyes, and each of its four wheels can rotate independently with complete 360-degree freedom.

During a test at a JAXA facility, the R1 traversed uneven terrain peppered with rocks, designed to simulate a lunar environment. The rover also showed off various locomotion maneuvers, and a later test showed an operator controlling the robot with a virtual reality (VR) headset and handheld controls.

In the test, a crane lowers a case down to the rover, which it then unhooks and lays on the ground in front of it before opening it up. Inside are the components of a solar panel, which the rover precisely assembled in under an hour. Another test demonstrates the robot's ability to sample the soil beneath it directly.

Video shows off new centaur-like robotic lunar rover in action 01 | TweakTown.com
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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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