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CoRob-X: DFKI tests lava cave exploration by autonomous robot teams for future lunar missions

Lava caves on Mars and particularly on the moon are not only interesting for exo-geologists and other space scientists, but they also could be used as storage rooms or even habitats for future human settlements. The question is how to access and explore these huge cavities under the lunar surface without risking the lives of astronauts.

This is where robots, or rather teams of robots, come into play. In the future, several cooperating robots could explore the surface above a lava tube and even enter and explore the cave from the inside. In CoRob-X, we demonstrated in a Lunar Analogue Mission on Lanzarote how this could work. With the joint effort of researchers from five European member states and funding from the European Commissions’ H2020 Programme, we had developed a robotic exploration team of three autonomous robots. In January/February 2023, the CoRob-X robot team was able to successfully complete all four phases of a lunar lava tube exploration mission. But see for yourselves…

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last updated 16.11.2023