Inspenet, August 9, 2023.
The United States space agency has plans to send three rovers to the Moon that will work completely autonomously , without relying on instructions from a scientist on Earth.
The launch of these three rovers will be carried out as part of the CADRE mission (Cooperative Autonomous Distributed Robotic Exploration or cooperative autonomous distributed robotic exploration in Spanish), scheduled for the year 2024. In addition to their focus on the Earth satellite, NASA scientists also have a desire to send these autonomous robots to Mars .
Autonomous rovers on the Moon
According to a detailed explanation by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the central idea is for the rovers to work independently. Although they will be programmed from Earth with a general objective, as part of the main mission, issues such as their movement, when to do it and what materials to collect will be decisions made by the rovers themselves based on their “intuition”.
JPL describes on its official website that this mission “is developing a network of shoebox-sized rovers that can collaborate to explore planetary surfaces together. Thanks to their ability to support each other, they would be mostly autonomous, taking decisions and acting without the need for constant human intervention.
Each small four-wheeled robot is equipped with two stereo cameras and other sensors to map the terrain in 3D and detect other rovers in its nearby environment. When deployed to the surface of the Moon or Mars, a group of these independent robots would coordinate via radio communication to efficiently explore nearby terrain or perform distributed measurements together, as JPL details on its website.