NASA robot hits the tundra to help perfect remote control
To prepare robots for harsh conditions, NASA has sent a prototype to a locale that’s only a little bit closer than outer space—Greenland. In this video report, we’ll see how Grover—short for Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research—handles cold-weather testing.
Grover’s wide treads allow it to get traction in snowy and icy conditions. The team also tried to perfect controlling Grover remotely, which will come in handy for robots that are hundreds of thousands of kilometers away on remote planets instead of just a few meters away.
In addition to showing how it can perform in icy conditions, Grover also helped analyze snow accumulation on Greenland between May and June this year—an important measurement for climate change.
It’s not all icy tundras for Grover, though. Before it went off to Greenland, the prototype enjoyed some time on a Maryland beach.