ETH developing robot to explore asteroids

16 April 2024 10:27

Swissmem SSIGZurich CCGreater Zurich

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Zurich - Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) are developing a robot that can operate in low gravity environments. The device could potentially assist the exploration of mineral resources and research into the origins of the universe.

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) have been developing the SpaceHopper robot. This robot, which moves around with a jumping-like motion, is designed to be able to navigate small celestial bodies with low gravity environments such as asteroids and moons, further details of which can be found in a press release.

The project started two years ago as part of an ETH focus project for Bachelor’s degree students and is now being continued as a Master’s project. In order to test the behavior of the SpaceHopper in zero gravity conditions, the robot was used on a parabolic flight by the European Space Agency (ESA).

SpaceHopper is a lightweight robot capable of performing both long and short jumps. Its three legs with three-dimensional degrees of freedom facilitate soft, precise landings. In the core body of the robot, there is space for it to carry scientific equipment that allows soil samples to be collected and examined. ce/eb

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