Robot to search for life on Mars tested out for first time on Earth
London, Sept 3 (ANI): A robot designed to analyse whether life once existed or still is present on Mars has been tested for the first time, in a replica of the Martian landscape - a warehouse in Hertfordshire.
The 250 million pounds worth ExoMars Rover will be able to pick its route through the rocky and pockmarked terrain of the Red Planet without any input from human controllers back on Earth, which previous rovers have relied upon.
It is due to carry a two metre long drill to penetrate down beneath the surface of Mars and will also now feature a device that will seal samples of soil, and hopefully signs of life, in a container so that it can be collected and returned to Earth.
Each of its six wheels can also "walk" independently like feet to enable it to overcome obstacles.
Ralph Cordey, science and exploration business development manager at EADS Astrium who has been developing the vehicle, said the automatic navigation system would allow more science to be done.
"The autonomous navigation system gives the opportunity to do more science, to travel further and do it faster," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
The groundbreaking navigation system uses two cameras to allow the rover to build up a three dimensional, or stereo, picture of its surroundings.
This allows it to identify obstacles and plot a safe route through.
It will also be able to identify potentially interesting objects that scientists may want to take a closer look at. (ANI)
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