In recent past, space agencies have sent out a number of robots to make explorations. These robots have proved critically helpful in making such space trips possible. European Space Agency has now shown off advanced robotic designs in a recent video, hinting that such robots may be created in future.
Exploring an alien terrain, for instance another planet, is a very complex job. The terrain can vary greatly and the robot participating in the exploration is expected to perform a whole range of tasks. One of the most complex space-bound robotic apparatus that we have seen in recent times is the Mars rover, Curiosity.
ESA is now gearing up to create more complex and better-performing robots which can be used for future space explorations. The image of the robot posted above, for instance, shows that it travels on a very complex set of wheels. These wheels, when needed, can turn into legs or even extend side ways into arms and dig into the ground.
Such design modifications mean that the same set of equipment can be used to perform multiple tasks. ESA’s video also shows off a robotic forklift which can be used for carrying cargo on, say, Moon from one place to another. Until now, transferring cargo on another planet or heavenly body hasn’t exactly been a viable function to be performed by a robot but this new design hints that this may be possible in near future.
The video also cites concept designs of different robotic modules which can self assemble once they reach their destination in space. Without a doubt, these robotic designs are very intriguing and it is hoped that ESA will be able to reproduce at least a few of them in real life, in the coming years.