Crater Explorer

Technical Details

Size: 820 x 1000 x 220 mm (normal posture)
Weight: 27kg
Speed: max. 0.12 m/s
Actuation/ Engine:
24 joints in 6 legs (BLDC motor RoboDrive ILM50x8, 1:100 HarmonicDrive , FPGA elektronics)
1x VLP16 Velodyne laserscanner, 1x IMU, 6-DOF force-torque per leg, battery cell voltages, per actuator: current, voltage, velocity, position (absolute and inkremental), temperature; 2x Picoflexx depth image camera
1x Intel NUC i7 10. Gen for motion control, 1x COM Express Board with Intel i7 5. Gen for navigation and mapping
approx. 1.5 h w/o payload (50V, 7Ah battery)
The robot receives its mission tasks via a wireless connection. Each task can be performed autonomously or manually controlled by an operator.

Organisational Details

Application Field: Space Robotics
Related Projects: Entern
Environment Modelling and Navigation for Robotic Space-Exploration (10.2014- 12.2017)

System description

CREX climbing up the Crater of the Space Exploration Hall of the DFKI Robotics Innovation Center (source: DFKI)
CREX walking on a simulated debris field Space (source: DFKI)
CREX during a transportation of a BaseCamp as communication relay (source DFKI)
CREX together with the hybrid walking and driving rover SherpaTT (source: DFKI)
CREX as CAD model in stowed position for transport attached to Sherpa robot (source: DFKI)
The robot CREX (Crater Explorer) is a six-legged walking robot. Based on the experience from the SpaceClimber  project, it has been developed as a scouting system in the RIMRES project.

The robot enables us to research methods for autonomous exploration of deep lunar  craters in search for water ice or other volatile substances.

Originally the system was equipped with an electro-mechanical interface on its back, allowing the robot to connect to the Sherpa rover for travelling longer distances or to mount additional modules such as battery modules and scientific instruments. As part of upgrades, this was converted to accommodate another computer and laser scanner. Furthermore, the body joint and the movable head were replaced with a larger battery compartment and depth imaging cameras.


CREX: Postures

CREX demonstrating its postural abilities. These are used for docking to Sherpa or in steep crater slopes

RIMRES: Sherpa and CREX

Sherpa is using its manipulator to deploy CREX. A possible use-case is the deployment off a landing unit at the beginning of an exploration mission

RIMRES: Systems in a lunar exploration mission

The video shows a possible lunar exploration mission for the RIMRES-system.

Back to the list of robot systems
last updated 22.08.2023
to top