December 10, 2018
Latest News
Science & Technology

EU robot fine-tunes roving skills in Sahara desert for future Mars missions

Gare Medwar (Morocco), Dec 4 (efe-epa).- A pioneering robotics technology, financed entirely by the European Commission and enabling autonomous long-distance space rover missions, began field-tests on Tuesday on the Moroccan northern tip of the Sahara desert.

On the plains of Gare Medwar, under a broiling December sun, some 20 technicians pore over a roving robot prototype nicknamed "Sherpa TT" by its creators, the German DFKI aerospatial team participating in the project.

In the background, a group of traditional desert tents – knowns as khaimas – dotted the landscape, while further away in the distance, the Moroccan Gendarmerie (police force) ensured that no curious, prying eyes were present.

Sherpa TT is a 200-kilogram (441-pound) rover with a robotic arm and four wheels mounted on articulated, spidery legs, which "will serve to test its software and integrate the algorithms required to provide the robot with a higher degree of intelligence," said Jorge Ocon, a representative of the Spanish technology company GMV.

The team's goal is to test the experimental space rover's capacity to travel along this desert landscape of plains covered in grayish pebbles, but also steep slopes and gorges where minute plants are growing after recent rainfall.

In the future, the SherpaTT will plan its own route and react to unforeseen situations, such as changing ground conditions or overcoming obstacles, similar to those encountered on Mars.

This prototype is not the final product but a laboratory proof-of-concept version lacking radiation shielding and insulation capable of handling the red planet's extreme temperatures.

Ocon said that by the time the rover makes it to Mars in around a decade, it will no longer be the Sherpa TT but an evolved, finished product fit to join the 21st-century space race.

News history
China launches probe to explore dark side of moon

Beijing, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- China launched the Chang'e 4 lunar probe on Saturday morning, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Russian tech startup showcases flying taxi prototype in demonstration flight

Moscow, Dec 7 (efe-epa).- Technicians from a Russian technology startup on Friday demonstrated the features of its newest electric air taxi prototype, as...

China launches two Saudi Arabian reconnaissance satellites into space

Beijing, Dec 7 (efe-epa).- China launched two Saudi Arabian reconnaissance satellites on Friday from its Jiuquan base in the northwestern part of the...

Chile presents in Miami shopping bag that dissolves in water in 3 minutes

Miami, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Patricio Cabezas submerges a plastic shopping bag in water and three minutes later it has completely dissolved but, not content...

EU robot fine-tunes roving skills in Sahara desert for future Mars missions

Gare Medwar (Morocco), Dec 4 (efe-epa).- A pioneering robotics technology, financed entirely by the European Commission and enabling autonomous...

Scientists detect biggest collision of black holes ever observed

Sydney, Australia, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- A team of scientists detected the gravitational waves that resulted from the biggest collision of black holes ever...

Soyuz successfully launches toward ISS for 1st time since emergency landing

Moscow, Dec 3 (efe-epa).- A Soyuz spacecraft with three crewmembers on-board blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan en route to the...

Changing pitch of whale songs could be linked to climate change

Sydney, Australia, Dec 3 (efe-epa).- A drop in the pitch intensity of whale songs in the last few decades could be related to climate change and an increase...

Booster rocket, spacecraft taken to pad ahead of launch from Kazakhstan

Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Dec 1 (efe-epa).- The Soyuz-FG booster rocket and Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft were transferred Saturday by train to the launch pad at...

51 stranded pilot whales die in New Zealand

Sydney, Australia, Nov 30 (EFE).- At least 51 stranded pilot whales died in Hanson Bay, on New Zealand's Chatham islands, the Department of Conservation...

Moon rocks sell for $855,000

New York, Nov 29 (efe-epa).- The only documented moon rocks still in private hands sold Thursday at Sotheby's New York auction house for $850,000.

Scientists isolate, synthesize and test a number of platypus proteins leading to the discovery of new antimicrobial

Sydney, Australia, Nov 29 (efe-epa).- Around 30 percent of the platypus population may have disappeared since the British colonized Australia in the late...

India successfully launches 31 satellites aboard single rocket

New Delhi, Nov 29 (efe-epa).- India on Thursday successfully launched a rocket into space, carrying 31 satellites from nine different countries, including...

Study: Latin America's digital evolution occurring at moderate pace

Miami, Nov 28 (efe-epa).- The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are making strides toward digital transformation, with sustained growth in the...

China's Ministry of Science concerned over genetic modification case

Beijing, Nov 28 (efe-epa).- China's Ministry of Science and Technology expressed concern over the alleged genetic modification of the DNA of two twin girls...

Chinese scientist defends genetic modification experiment

Hong Kong, Nov 28 (efe-epa).- A Chinese scientist defended his experiment on Wednesday in which he claims to have created the first genetically modified...

NASA's InSight space probe makes successful Mars landing

Pasadena, California, Nov 26 (efe-epa).- The InSight space probe, the first mission mounted by NASA specifically to study the interior of Mars, on Monday...

NASA craft ready for Mars touchdown, if it survives 7-minute fiery descent

Madrid, Nov 26, (efe-epa).- The NASA InSight robotic spacecraft was ready on Monday to execute its danger-filled, fiery descent to the Martian surface after...

OriHime-D, un robot-camarero manejado a distancia por un discapacitado

Tokyo, Nov 26 (efe-epa).- OriHime-D, a robot weighing roughly 20 kilograms (44 pounds) and standing at 1.2 meters (3.9 feet), began its job as a waiter at a...

InSight, space probe that will listen to the interior of Mars

Los Angeles, Nov 25 (efe-epa).- After traveling for some 300 million kilometers (186 million miles), NASA's InSight space mission will arrive on the Martian...

Agave species discovery sheds new light on Arizona's pre-Columbian culture

By Beatriz Limon

ESA scientists, astronauts test robots, moonwalkers for future lunar mission

Tinguatón (Spain), Nov 22 (efe-epa).- Astronauts and scientists from the European Space Agency carried out tests with robots and moonwalkers on the barren...

Fossil of oldest long-necked dinosaur found in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Nov 21 (epa-efe).- A group of paleontologists discovered in southern Brazil what has been described as the world's oldest long-necked...

NASA spacecraft to seek signs of life in ancient Martian lakebed

Washington, Nov 19 (efe-epa).- A NASA spacecraft will seek signs that there was once life on Mars by analyzing the rocks in a long-dried-up lakebed and...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.