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Roving Martian Robots

Engineer Tim Lexen Creates an Object that May Help in Space

— May 24, 2011 — Tech
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.
Trend Themes
1. Unmanned Rover Technology - Tim Lexen's roving robot design revolutionizes unmanned rover technology, providing a template for future space exploration.
2. Low-friction Surface Coating - The use of low-friction outer coating on screws allows for effective movement on rough terrains, opening up opportunities for improved robot mobility.
3. Simplified Chassis Design - Lexen's minimalistic rover design reduces complexity and offers a more efficient alternative to traditional chassis designs for outdoor robots.
Industry Implications
1. Space Exploration - Tim Lexen's unmanned rover has disruptive potential for the space exploration industry, offering enhanced capabilities for planetary exploration.
2. Robotics - The use of low-friction surface coating and simplified chassis design presents disruptive innovation opportunities for the robotics industry, improving mobility and efficiency of outdoor robots.
3. Engineering - Lexen's innovative roving robot design highlights new possibilities in engineering, particularly in simplifying complex designs for improved functionality.
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