SpaceClimber integration study in the DFKI RIC SpaceTestBed (Photo: Bernd Langer, Studio Banck)

Technical Details

Size: 820 x 1000 x 220 mm (normal posture)
Weight: 18,5 Kg
Power supply: 44,4V / 4Ah (Lithium Polymer)
Speed: 300mm/Sek
Actuation/ Engine:
24 Joints (48V RoboDrive motors / 1:100 HarmonicDrive gears)
Joints: Position (absolute 0,18°, relative 0,06°), speed, current, supply voltage, temperature
Feet: pressure- und 3-axis-acceleration in the sole, optical odometer in the suspension compartment of the lower leg
Body: Inertia Measurement Unit, overall current and battery voltage
Head: Stereo Camera, Laser range finder

Organisational Details

Application Field: Space Robotics
Related Projects: SpaceClimber
A Semi-Autonomous Free-Climbing Robot for the Exploration of Crater Walls and Bottoms (07.2007- 11.2010)
Related Software: Bagel
Biologically inspired Graph-Based Language
Behavior Optimization and Learning for Robots
Machina Arte Robotum Simulans
An add-on for Blender allowing editing and exporting of robots for the MARS simulation
Robot Construction Kit

System description

Art drawing of the SpaceClimber Prototype (Source: Stefan Haase, DFKI)

The robot "SpaceClimber" project will prove that legged systems present a very suitable solution to future extraterrestrial missions in unstructured, uneven terrain, in particular in crater and crevices in the rock. The robot system to be developed will be able to safely control up to 80 % non-uniform grades. Local autonomous navigation will be possible due to special sensor technology and new software algorithms for slope navigation.

Thus, in the field of planetary mobility, a technology will be developed which will make future crater and canyon exploration possible. Special emphasis is given to robustness, energy efficiency, redundancy, and autonomy of the robot.

The most important component to reach these goals are the actuators for the locomotor system. Hence, intelligent, lightweight, powerful and energy efficient joints have been developed for the system. As high stability in steep terrain is of utmost importance, the development and realization of novel feet concepts play an important role in the SpaceClimber Project.


SpaceClimber: Frei kletternder Roboter für extraterrestrische Krater

SpaceClimber in dem künstlichen Mond-Krater der DFKI RIC Weltraumexplorationshalle.


drawing of the newly developed joint (Source: Jens Hilljegerdes, DFKI GmbH)
CAD drawing of the shank (Source: Florian Cordes, DFKI GmbH)
SpaceClimer in the space exploration hall (Photo: DFKI GmbH)
CAD-drawing (Source: Jens Hilljegerdes, DFKI GmbH)
Back to the list of robot systems
last updated 04.05.2022
to top