Two-wheel robot shoots for the Moon

Team Frednet conceives 2-wheel robot to compete for Google Lunar X-Prize, a $30 million international competition to safely land a robot on the surface of the Moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to the Earth. The Ask Charlie Control Engineering blog analyzed the prototype robot's stability. Named Just Another Lunar Robot (JALURO), the prototype is one of two designs the team is developing to compete for the Google Lunar X-Prize.


Oak Brook, IL – In a departure from conventional planetary rover design strategies, Team Frednet Google Lunar X-Prize .

JALURO may change the way land AGVs are designed. Source: Team Frednet

Team Frednet comprises three key systems, software, and hardware developers who serve as the leaders and overall coordinators of an international group of open source developers, engineers, and scientists. The team says its goal (besides winning the Google Lunar X Prize), is to bring the same successful approach used in developing major software systems (such as the Internet, and Linux) to bear on the problems associated with space exploration and research. In so doing, they plan to establish an Open Space Foundation that provides incentives, education, and funding to future individuals and organizations seeking opportunities in this final frontier.
“We hope to foster greater public interest in space exploration and research,” says team organizer and leader Fred J. Bourgeois, III, “as well as educate the public at large on the past, present, and future importance of these discoveries, while simultaneously (through our open-source initiative) giving individual contributors the opportunity to have a very real impact on the world around us all.”
The Google Lunar X Prize is a $30 million international competition to safely land a robot on the surface of the Moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to the Earth. Teams must be at least 90% privately funded and must be registered to compete by Dec. 31, 2010. The first team to land on the Moon and complete the mission objectives will be awarded $20 million; the full first prize is available until December 31, 2012. After that date, the first prize will drop to $15 million. The second team to do so will be awarded $5 million. Another $5 million will awarded in bonus prizes. The final deadline for winning the prize is Dec. 31, 2014.
The main development challenge for the JALURO project is overcoming an inherent rocking instability, which Control Engineering senior editor C.G. Masi has analyzed and says is surmountable. He outlines the instability and suggests the solution in a Jan. 19, 2009, posting on the

Ask Charlie blog

. By reducing the number of wheels, the JALURO design promises to reduce AGV weight and mechanical complexity. Once the rocking instability is solved, the design could be used for any type of land AGV. It would be especially useful for small surveillance vehicles as well as planetary exploration rovers.
The AIMing for Automated Vehicles blog also discusses "

To the Moon Alice, then Mars


– Edited by C.G. Masi ,
Control Engineering News Desk
Register here .

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Motor specification guidelines; Understanding multivariable control; Improving a safety instrumented system; 2017 Engineers' Choice Award Winners
Selecting the best controller from several viewpoints; System integrator advice for the IIoT; TSN and real-time Ethernet; Questions to ask when selecting a VFD; Action items for an aging PLC/DCS
Robot advances in connectivity, collaboration, and programming; Advanced process control; Industrial wireless developments; Multiplatform system integration
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me