05/31/2021 at 11:49 AM CEST
Japan is actually preparing a robot unusual to visit the moon soon. Thus, with strong influences from the country’s technology industry, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has joined forces with Sony, Doshisha University and the toy designer tomy to create a A transforming ball that will be used to explore the lunar soil together with a manned rover. The latter for the year 2029.
The 2.5 kilogram robot will arrive in a very compact ball that will help the robotics company Ispace to carry a machine inside its lunar lander. Once on the surface, it will open up to its “final” shape, where it will capture images of the lunar surface. Additionally, the robot will be useful for future JAXA missions.
The companies that have helped the public agency are not surprising: Sony knows quite a bit about these types of robots, which is why they have supplied the control technology, while Tomy and Doshisha University have helped to miniaturize the design. Work on the robot started in 2016 with a study of the same, but the efforts have been made gradually between 2019 and 2021. Ispace will launch its lunar lander by the year 2022, at which point we will see if this curious little robot has really worked.