Rocky 7 picture

Rocky 7 - Background

Rocky 7 Description

Rocky 7, developed and operated by JPL, is about 15 kg in mass and is 48 by 64 by 32 cm in dimensions. It has 6 wheels. It is powered by solar panels and has a wireless Ethernet connection for uplink and downlink to trailer, via cellular or satellite to JPL, and then to the Internet. It has a 32 cm long manipulator arm with two degrees of freedom. The arm is mounted on the front of the vehicle and can reach 10 cm below the surface. A scoop is used to dig and to carry samples. A point reflectance spectrometer is mounted on the arm's end. Rocky 7 also possesses a 1 m tall jointed mast. This mast has 3 degrees of freedom. The end of the mast has stereo multispectral imagers and a cylindrical volume about the size and shape of a soda can. The mast's two stereo multispectral imagers acquire 3-dimensional panoramic images for navigation and science analyses. The "can" can be used to house a variety of scientific instruments. For the December 1996 experiments, the "can" had a close-up imager with 100 micrometer spatial resolution. For the May 1997 tests a Mössbauer spectrometer and a Point Reflectance spectrometer were placed in the can. At a science target site (i.e., a rock), the mast becomes a deployment system for placing the "can" against the target, thus obtaining close-up imaging of a rock face or detailed data from the Mössbauer spectrometer.

Navigation cameras are also included and are used with waypoint information to command the rover to move in particular directions, automatically avoiding obstacles while still moving to the desired areas. During the field tests the rover is commanded to waypoints from a trailer and also from remote sites, such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The trailer is in communication with JPL and thus linked to the Internet. The Web Interface for Telescience (WITS) is used for specifying waypoints, science targets and command sequences to the rover.

Rocky 7 Prototype Rover

For more information see Long Range Science Rover Task (JPL).

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