Clips, Space

A New Rover That Can Tumble Over Rough Worlds

A mechanical “hedgehog,” sitting on a comet.

NASA is developing a new class of rovers, which can move across terrains not easily navigable by conventional vehicles.

Probes like the S.U.V-size Curiosity, which have sets of wheels, work well on planets. But on smaller, knobbly objects, such as asteroids and comets, which have very little gravity to hold them down, they’re at risk of floating away or tripping over rugged boulders.

Dubbed the “hedgehog,” the machine is designed to hop and tumble across bumpy fields, with the help of spikes, which keep it both affixed to the ground as well as protect its delicate body from shocks.



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