langue fr ESA - 11/08/2022

Lunar Zebro

Lunar Zebro, a project of the @TU Delft in the Netherlands wants to build a robot and be the first Dutch and European rover to walk on the Moon. Their lunar rover does not only distinguish itself by its small size taking up the same area as an A4 sheet of paper, but also by its unique locomotion. Driven by C-shaped legs instead of wheels, the six-legged rover from where it takes its name in Dutch zes-benige robot, will be able to climb over much taller obstacles than its wheeled counterparts, making it ideal for the rough and dangerous terrain found on the Moon.

While the student team aims to launch the first rover in a few years to demonstrate the technology and collect data on the radiation levels on the surface, it has grander plans for the future. The team envisions the launch of multiple rovers at once to swarm on the surface of our closest celestial body, in a way not too dissimilar to a swarm of insects. Given the Zebro's small size, light weight, and excellent locomotion, this would allow the team to take on missions which would be too risky for larger and more expensive rovers.

This project highlights what students - the next generation of engineers, can already achieve and opens the door to new ways of thinking about robotic lunar missions. It is an example of the innovations one expects from the space industry in the coming years, showing the strength of the Netherlands and Europe in this field.

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