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NASA's Polar Robotic Ranger Passes Test In One of Earth's Harshest Places 24

Zothecula writes "NASA scientists have unleashed a new robot on the arctic terrain of Greenland to demonstrate that its ability to operate with complete autonomy in one of Earth's harshest environments. Named GROVER, which stands for both Greenland Rover and Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, the polar robotic ranger carries ground-penetrating radar for analysis of snow and ice, and an autonomous system that is operated over an Iridium satellite connection. All of that is placed between two solar panels and two snowmobile tracks."

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NASA's Polar Robotic Ranger Passes Test In One of Earth's Harshest Places

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  • long as no one is there to tickle it, it'll be fine...
  • They didn't send it to Greenland to test it, they just got their feet and meters mixed up again.

    • Also, having a keen US geographic education, they assumed Greenland was the nice temperate country in the center of Europe, right next to England.

      When it passes the green land test, then green-blue land, then blue-green land, then blue land, then purple land, then Iceland.

    • Yup, you can tell by the shadows that this is fake. NASA probably just did it on a sound stage at area 51.
  • So, which is it? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:08PM (#44229865)
    "an autonomous system that is operated over an Iridium satellite connection."

    Is it autonomous, or is it remotely operated?
    • Have you ever gone across an Iridium connection? They're VERYslow and not always available.

      It has to be autonomous.

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:09PM (#44229877)

    Greenland is only harsh for humans. Curiously, it's easier to build a rover for a Martian or an arctic weather than to build one that can withstand rain, mud, vegetation etc.

    • by asylumx (881307)
      Sure, but we haven't found nearby planets to explore which experience rain, mud and vegetation. Yet.
      • Titan's not a planet, but it's fairly nearby (ie within the solar system), and has rain and mud. As long as you count liquid methane and ethane falling from the sky as rain, and tholin tar as mud.

  • Just put a scoop on the front, some modified roomba software inside, and you have freedom from shovelling!
    Would sell millions of units in Canada alone.

  • it falls through an ice lake and the entire robot is destroyed.
  • Seems like one big do they keep it from blowing over sideways?
  • is where we should be testing robots and inflatable space modules.
    I am amazing that Bigelow and IDL Dover have not volunteered to put one or two of their modules there. In fact, for anything destined for the Moon or Mars, they should be field tested at the south pole for a minimum of 5 years, if not 10.
    The same should be done for the robots.

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