Biologically inspired nanorovers: Innovative and low cost technologies using shape memory alloys

Smith, B.G.R. and Saaj, C. (2009) Biologically inspired nanorovers: Innovative and low cost technologies using shape memory alloys. In: 60th International Astronautical Congress, 12th - 16th October 2009, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

This paper details the design and construction of a biologically inspired nanorover prototype for exploring Mars. Although all Martian exploration vehicles to date have been wheeled, a six legged design was selected for this rover so as to improve its trafficability across rough terrains, since the main focus of this project was miniaturisation, with a goal of building a rover which weighed less than 1kg. To this end, shape memory alloy actuators were used instead of conventional rotary motors, due to their small size and mass, and carbon fibre was used as the main construction material. The rover was analysed using a combination of empirical results and computer simulation, in particular a simulation tool being developed at the University of Surrey called the Legged Performance and Traction Predicting Tool (LPTPT), with results suggesting that the design could be the basis of a successful planetary exploration vehicle.

Additional Information:cited By 0
Keywords:nanorovers, shape memory alloys
Divisions:College of Science > School of Engineering
ID Code:37406
Deposited On:07 Oct 2019 09:23

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