Scarab, a robot developed by Carnegie Mellon University with support from NASA, is about to be tested at Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano to prove its fitness for the extreme conditions of space.
The robot was developed by the Lunar Rover Initiative, a group of scientists from the Field Robotics Center at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute. The test mission, intended to mimic a lunar rover mission, will have Scarab climb, drill, extract, and analyze samples, CMU announced Tuesday.
The dormant volcano and Hawaii's highest mountain, Mauna Kea is best known for its elite observatory of astronomical telescopes. But on this mission, scientists will be looking within instead of out at the universe.
The 400-kilogram (880-pound) robot has a suspension system that allows it to climb or drive on steep inclines of sand and rock. Scarab's November 1-13 mission will take place about two-thirds of the way up to Mauna Kea's peak at an elevation of 9,000 feet. The robot will take samples from the dormant volcano.
One of Scarab's innovative tools specifically being tested during the November mission is a drill from Norcat (Northern Centre for Advanced Technology) and a chemical analysis device from NASA.… Read more