NASA needs the public’s help to design the perfect rover that can survive Venus’s “hellish” landscape.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), under a grant from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program, is running a public challenge to develop an obstacle avoidance sensor for a possible future Venus rover.
It is studying a mission concept to return to Venus known as The Automaton Rover for Extreme Environments (AREE).
This has not been accomplished since the Soviet Vega 2 landed in 1985.
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JPL has issued a challenge to the global community in search of a sensor that would detect and navigate through dangerous situations during its operational life. It would need to sense obstacles such as rocks, crevices and inclines, successfully navigating around the obstruction, enabling the rover to continue to explore and collect more data.
The “Exploring Hell: Avoiding Obstacles on a Clockwork Rover” challenge is seeking the public’s designs for a sensor that could be incorporated into the design concept.
The winning sensor could be the primary mechanism by which the rover detects and navigates around obstructions.
The space agency has offered cash prizes for the challenge. The person who comes first will be awarded $15,000, followed by $10,000 for the second position and $5,000 for the third position.
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