Meet the Chinese robot car that maintains the FAST telescope

auto robot

Inspenet, December 20, 2023.

A team of Chinese engineers has developed a smart robot car designed to perform cleaning, repair and replacement tasks at the Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), the world’s largest single dish telescope.

Keeping 2,225 laser targets in operation on a giant spherical dish with a receiving surface equivalent to 30 football fields is a challenge. In addition, the reflective surface of the telescope is composed of aluminum plates one millimeter thick, incapable of supporting the weight of a normal adult, making it necessary to use the robot car for these tasks.

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Auto robot for maintenance of the FAST telescope

The newly developed robot car has the ability to perform functions in all directions and carry out repositioning tasks automatically, even on slopes of up to 56 degrees, according to the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is responsible for the design. Of the device.

This system has already been used by the maintenance services of the Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), significantly improving efficiency and reducing safety risks. The telescope is located in a naturally deep and round karst depression in Pingtang County in the southwestern province of Guizhou.

It is important to note that the FAST formally began operations in January 2020 and officially opened to the public on March 31, 2021.

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