Crater Explorer

Integrated system in DFKI’s Space Exploration Hall (Photo: DFKI)

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: NoStrandAMust
Learning Ground Interaction Models to Increase the Autonomy of Mobile Robotic Exploration Systems (02.2022- 01.2025)
Modular components as Building Blocks for application-specific configurable space robots (07.2021- 06.2024)
Environment Modelling and Navigation for Robotic Space-Exploration (10.2014- 12.2017)
Related Software: Rock
Robot Construction Kit

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: Körperhaltungen

CREX zeigt die Beweglichkeit seines Körpers. Diese ist beispielsweise für das Docken an Sherpa oder komplexe Bewegungen in steilen Kraterumgebungen notwendig.

RIMRES: Sherpa und CREX

Sherpa setzt CREX ab. Dies kann beispielsweise der Absetzvorgang von der Landefähre zu Beginn der Mission sein

RIMRES: Systeme in einer polaren Monderkundungsmission

Das Video zeigt eine mögliche Mission des RIMRES-Systems zur Erkundung eines polaren Mondkraters.

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last updated 07.07.2022
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