The students of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) have designed and fabricated a Mars rover, that could tackle any terrain and climate, a release issued by the institute stated.
“The Mars Rover performed admirably in one of the world’s foremost robotics competition for college students - University Rover Challenge conducted by The Mars Society recently,” researchers at IIT said. According to sources, the students plan to continue upgrading the rover to suit the needs of the Indian space scientists. The students have designed a gripper with specially designed fingers that can conform around any object to grip it tightly. The state of the art electronic system will also ensure that the rover is able to operate seamlessly and reliably. The new software improves the rover’s autonomous capabilities and the ease of control. The team have also designed the rover in a way that it is able to perform a wide range of tasks.
The rover is also equipped to collect soil. It has a ratchet which can be used to dig into the soil. The team has also designed an automated on-board science laboratory to perform experiments on the collected soil to detect the presence of life. The student’s research team will be collaborating with the top research organisations of the country such as the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) in building space technologies.