A modular robotic infrastructure to support planetary surface operations

Shane Farritor, Jun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper presents a study of a Planetary Surface Modular Robotic System (PSMRS) to support surface exploration of the Moon and Mars. For these missions a wide variety of tasks, requiring large a variation in robot capabilities, will need to be performed. Also, not all tasks can be foreseen. An approach is proposed that consists of a group of modules that are assembled to produce a robot for a specific task. It promotes efficiency and reliability through adaptability. This study investigated the concept's feasibility. Mission requirements were studied, important tasks were identified, and an inventory of modules was designed. Nine robots are described as examples of the diversity of robots (and capabilities) that can be produced. All nine robots were constructed using only 26 modules, showing the benefits in terms of launch mass and volume. Three robots were simulated performing representative, mission-relevant tasks including soil manipulation, instrument deployment, and science sample collection. The simulations demonstrate the approach's scientific feasibility and credibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2000
EventSpace 2000 Conference and Exposition - Long Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Sep 19 2000Sep 21 2000


ConferenceSpace 2000 Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A modular robotic infrastructure to support planetary surface operations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this