Proposed effort is to use vibration to propel a small, self-contained device through unconsolidated (loose, granular) material, such as regolith. Small scale robotic devices that can penetrate, and be mobile within, the regolith depth would offer unique opportunities.
The idea of vibrational locomotion is based on vibrational-fluidization in ISRU reactor systems, which has proven very effective for regolith mixing. The vibrating device would essentially vibro-fluidize the local regolith surrounding it, reducing the local bulk density. With proper design (size, shape, weight) the device could gradually sink into the regolith. Vibration is also used in industrial digging applications as a supplement to a constant forward force. The vibration helps to reduce friction between the soil and the digging tool. Including a percussive motion to the proposed device would produce such a downward force and mimic industrial techniques.More »
If successful, this provides a simple device with no moving parts exposed to the harsh regolith and a straightforward control system.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Glenn Research Center (GRC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Cleveland, OH|