Wisconsin-based engineer Tim Lexen may have created the first effective unmanned rover that could be used on the rocky terrain of Mars.
Tim Lexen's roving robot consists of a triangle-shaped main body, which contains three electrical servo motor packs, electronics and battery packs. The three stainless steel coils (also referred to as "screws") sport a low-friction outer coating that not only keeps them from getting stuck in rough surfaces, but also allows them to push or pull against those very surfaces to advance movement.
"It has an absolute minimum of moving parts, no suspension, no mechanisms," said Tim Lexen. "It is less complex, by roughly an order of magnitude, than any other outdoor rover chassis design, not to mention any outdoor holonomic design."
Lexen's design is revolutionary in the robot world, and it would be no surprise to see this very robot become the standard template for future unmanned robots used in space.