LExENLife in Extreme Environments
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"While significant progress has been made in the development of sensor and control technology, one of the major challenges is that of mobility-that is, physically traversing obstacles, soft and rocky soil and other hazards in complex, unstructured and high-risk environments," Lexen told the Discovery News.
Lexen, K., de Wit, C., Jansson, B., Kjeller, L-O., Kulp, S.E., Ljung, K., Soderstorm, G., and Rappe, C.: 1993, Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofuran levels and patterns in samples from different Swedish industries analyzed within the Swedish Dioxin Survey.
"It runs very well on grass, sand, gravel and other outdoor surfaces," New Scientist quoted Lexen as saying.
But the prototype has trouble gaining traction on surfaces like polished wood floors, and Lexen plans to add motion sensors so that the robot can orient itself.
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation's Lexen Program DEB-0085486, the NASA Astrobiology Program NCC2-1054, and an NIH:NCRR 01395.
This project is funded through the NSF LEXEN program, with researcher Mark Messerli funded by a NRC Fellowship.