The iStruct Demonstrator, also referred to as a robo-ape that could one day be clambering across the Moon
In the past, exploring the lunar surface was a mission carried out by rovers and humans, but one company is proposing a rather radical alternative that would see an ape-like robot walk across the Moon on all fours.
The German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and the University of Bremen have put together a proptype four-legged robo-ape, known as the iStruct Demonstrator, that employs several smart innovations that will help it traverse the Moon’s hills and craters. The benefits of such a proposal largely centre around its manoeuvrability – where a rover may struggle with the slope of a crater or rocks strewn across the ground, a robo-ape could clamber up a slope on all fours or carefully pick its way over rocks.
Weighing in at 18 kilograms (40 pounds) and with dimensions of 66 x 43 x 75 centimetres (26 x 13 x 30 inches), the robo-ape is remarkably similar in both size and stature to real apes, which are well known for their versatility in many environments. Another benefit of the design is that the robot could stand on ...