Robot Dog Heads to the Moon: Exploring the South Polar Region with GLIMPSE

Robot dog could go to the Moon

The robotic explorer GLIMPSE created by ETH Zurich (ETH Zurich) and University of Zurich (University of Zurich) has reached the final round of a contest for prospecting space resources. Long-term, the robot’s goal is to explore the south pole of the moon.

It is thought that the south polar region on the moon contains many resources useful for the operation of lunar bases, including metals, water, ice and oxygen in rocks. To find these resources, an explorer robotic system that can handle the harsh conditions on this part of the Moon is required. The many craters on the moon make it difficult to move around, and the low angle of sunlight and thick dust layers prevent the use of instruments that measure light. Temperature fluctuations are another challenge.

The European Space Agency and the European Space Resources Innovation Center ESRIC asked European and Canadian engineering groups to develop robots, tools and techniques capable of mapping the shadowy south polar area of the Moon between the Faustini and Shoemaker craters. Researchers had to adapt the technologies of terrestrial exploration for harsh conditions on the Moon.