The Astrobotic lander has evolved to an all-composite design, with new locations to attach third-party payloads. The Payload Specifications document has been updated and can be downloaded here: http://astrobotictechnology.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/astrobotic-pa...
June 24, 2010 - by Lander advances to all-composite design
June 21, 2010 - by Red Rover makes slag-heap transit
June 16, 2010 - by Red Rover put through first lunar-like terrain test
June 11, 2010 - by Red Rover begins tests in Pittsburgh-area slag heap
This week the Astrobotic team deployed Red Rover's third prototype in a Pittsburgh-area slag heap to begin evaluating its ability to handle outdoor terrain with loose rocks and challenging slopes. (Slag heaps are fields of waste rock left over from the refining of iron ore at steel mills.)
May 28, 2010 - by Astrobotic presents at NASA exploration workshop
Astrobotic and its partners at Carnegie Mellon University presented their technical developments several times this week at the NASA exploration workshop in Galveston and at Johnson Space Center in Houston, showing advancements in operating throughout the lunar day, surviving hibernation during the long lunar night, and unstoppable mobility solutions. Dr. Red Whittaker, Astrobotic's chairman and founder of the Field Robotics Center at CMU, led the delegation, which included President David Gump and Chief Engineer John Thornton.
May 24, 2010 - by Third prototype begins rolling through high bay
The third prototype of Astrobotic's Moon robot has begun mobility tests in the high bay of the Gates Computer Science building at Carnegie Mellon University. The clip below shows the first two prototypes out in the field, followed by P3 in the high bay, rolling past the cryogenic freezer, the walk-in oven for curing composite structures, and the vacuum chamber at the far right.
May 12, 2010 - by Testing begins on thermal infiltration of gear train and motor
To protect the rover's motors from the blistering heat of the lunar day, they are mounted inside the rover's body. (This isn't necessary in Mars' chilly atmosphere; motors are placed out in the individual wheel hubs.)
May 6, 2010 - by Third prototype gains components on way to first movements
April 30, 2010 - by New animation of Astrobotic's lunar expedition
April 28, 2010 - by Robot arm learns its place in the world
Before the robot arm can accurately perform a task, such as carve up a mold placed in front of it, it needs to understand where that object is located in three dimensional space in relation to itself. A previous blog post showed how it used a piezoelectric button to tap on a base surface to determine the surface's orientation and position in 3-space. This video shows how it now understands the location of the base surface sufficiently to keep a pen lightly drawing across the surface.