Rovers are reliable and versatile mobile robotic systems. In comparison to walking or flying mobile systems, rovers offer a good energy to mass trade-off, which means that they are well suited for high payloads.
We develop rover prototypes as well as re-usable, highly integrated robotic and mechatronic sub-modules. The general robotic hardware development follows the idea of concurrent engineering of the robotic key technologies: mechanics, electronic and computation. These developments are always combined with advanced simulations as part of the development process. The test and qualification plan of specific modules follows the space qualification standards to increase the TRL (Technology Readiness Level).
The MPE (Mobile Payload Element) is an ESA driven project within the European Lunar Lander mission. The small and light weight, 10 kg class rover shall be used at the lunar south pool for fetching samples of the surface and delivering them to the lander. The phase A0-delta results of the current development are shown below.
The RMC is responsible for the locomotion sub system and the autonomous waypoint navigation technology experiment. The MPE project is lead by Kayser Threde GmbH.
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For autonomous waypoint navigation, the rover is equipped with a stereo camera and an inertial measurement unit as sensors: