Japan-based GITAI’s Lunar Robotic Rover R1 hopes to one day explore the Moon. However, before that can happen, it needs to successfully complete some tests at JAXA’s lunar surface simulation test side in Sagamihara, a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The robot features four wheels capable of turning at any angle, making driving sideways, turning on the spot and performing complex maneuvers, a breeze. Read more for a video and additional information.
Unlike other lunar rovers, this one boasts robotic arms, complete with ultra bright LEDs and two cameras. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the R1 can not run in full autonomous mode, as an operator controls the rover and its arms using VR controllers from a remote location. It has been tested on sandy, rocky slopes with a 15° – 20° incline and was able to traverse them without issue.
- Features a detailed replica of the Eagle lunar lander with a depiction of the lunar surface, with a crater, footprints and a U.S. flag
- This modular model features a descent stage with gold-colored landing pads and panels, opening camera, laser hatches, and a movable ladder
- The ascent stage has a detailed interior with room for 2 astronauts. The model is finished with an Apollo 11 Lunar Lander nameplate
In response to the strong interest that NASA and the US space industry is showing for lunar resource extraction, we have conducted a group of tasks to collect regolith from the lunar surface. Tasks include the GITAI lunar robotic rover R1 removing necessary tools from a container, moving to a point of interest, collecting lunar samples and storing it, returning all equipment into the container and locking it up, and all tasks were completed in success” said the company.