Saturday, October 25, 2008

successful run yesterday night

Our run yesterday night went pretty good: the "digger" robot reached the sample; it seems it was the only one of the teams that ran yesterday that managed this.

The overall task was tremendously difficult. The concept of two robots, one as communication relay and one for getting the sample worked very well. But getting to the sample was already a big challenge due to the environment conditions - very difficult terrain and very unstructured, especially as it is very dark. So, Soeren as our operator hard a hard time driving the two robots. Below some pictures that give an impression of the run.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It is all a matter of software now...




... let's see if all the robot software we have is running on the two "lunatic" robots

finally screwed up


Aren't they nice? :)

126 times drilled holes, put screws through, and tightened the nuts

Friday, October 10, 2008

improving the tracks



2 sets of aluminum plates mounted, still 82 to go

Lunatic 1 is alive...

The first robot is up and moving; see the attached movies. Number two has a broken motor cable but that is about to be replaced and both can start practicing together.
video video

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

3D laserscanner and first digging mechanisms ready

A first simple digging mechanism is finally finished. Let us hope that the "sand" is indeed somewhere in the density range of 1 gr/ccm (which should already be pessimistic according to Wikipedia).

The rotating laser scanner for 3D perception over long ranges is now also finished.

onboard PC installed & running

The onboard PC's are now installed. The software that was developed on the old robots so far now has to put on them. Time for test drives tomorrow... :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

locomotion mechanics & electronics tested

The new locomotion mechanics are now finally assembled. The drive electronics fortunately works exactly as expected. Both the main drive and the flipper run perfectly.

Now, the PC part (which has already arrived before and is tested) has to be added.

final missing pieces just arrived...


The final missing pieces for the two robots just arrived. They took much longer due to delays in the supply chain (first wrong delivery 0f aluminum raw material, then severe vacation delay for some CNC processing of a few parts).

But now they are all here and the robots can be finished...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Back from China...

RoboCup in China is finally over. Things didn't go too well, we ended on a somewhat disappointing 4th place. It looked great until the final run where we managed to dropped from a already kind of secure 2nd place (with quite some hope for even more) to the worst place in the world...

So now, it is full time ESA Lunar Challenge :)

Monday, July 14, 2008


Sören and Heiko should now be convinced that the cabling for the new Lunar robots should be less of a mess than for the old robots :)
The date and place of the event are now disclosed: it is going to be 20.-27. October 2008 on Teneriffe. Cool... :)

The date is very good as it is end of October. Each day until then will be useful. We are currently a bit behind schedule because our best robot got stolen after ICRA in Pasadena and a major part of the team is currently in China at RoboCup (just look at the time stamp of this posting :) ).

The design of our two new robots for the ESA challenge is actually almost finished and we have to "only" implement them until October. But after seeing the material that ESA disclosed at the CDR (the Critical Design Review) at ESTEC, many new ideas popped up. Just have to decide what is still feasible to implement. We also want to show off quite some software features for which the two robots have to be running. Though we also already use some older ones for developments.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Welcome to our blog...

Hello everyone,

welcome to our blog. We are documenting here in a loose way our efforts for the ESA Lunar robotics challenge. Keep tuned to see what is going on in our team...

Greetings to all other lunatics