Thursday, November 8, 2007

Robot Background

Each year, several Antarctic research expeditions travel across the Antarctic plateau in convoys of truck-sized tracked vehicles called snow cats. The lead vehicle uses carry ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to detect snow-covered crevasses that are invisible from air and pose a substantial hazard to ground vehicles. Snow cats cost around $250,000 and require massive amounts of fuel, an expensive commodity in antarctica.

The pupose of our project is to build an autonomous robot that will replace a snow cat to perform GPR surveys with the goal of crevasse detection.

Our robot will be:
-80% faster than a Pisten Bully snow cat
-28,000% more energy efficient
-1/20th the price
-easier to transport, operate, and service
-safer to operate

Robot Design:

Length: 1.14 m
Width: 1m
Height: .57 m
Weight: 60 kg
Speed: 7.2 km/hr
Lifetime: 4.2 hr
Range: 33 km
Min. Operating Temperature: -40 degrees C

Detail of robot design featuring horizontal pivot and symmetric chassis.


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