BrickVista Logo BrickVista Tech-Notes
 Level indicator                    Home  Rover Systems

Manipulation Systems
While a Rover can physically position itself relatively close to rocks and geographic samples, finer positioning and manipulation of scientific tools is achieved through the use of Robotic Arms and Masts.


Rover WEB Rover WEB
The Mars Exploration Rover's Arm holds four different scientific instruments which it can use against martian soil and rocks.

Testing of the Mars Exploration Rover's Robotic Arm.

The Rover Arm enables instruments to extend, bend, and be placed precisely against a rock, grinding away layers, taking microscopic images, and analyzing the elemental composition of the rocks and soil. A Mast assembly on a Rover serves two purposes. Firstly it enables a rover to see in the distance, giving it a ‘human-scale’ view of its surroundings, and secondly it acts as a periscope for instruments enabling them to take atmospheric samples.


Rover Arm Robotic Arm
(IDD - Instrument Deployment Device)

A Robotic Arm holds and maneuvers instruments so that scientists can get up-close and personal with rocks and soil. Much like a human arm, Robotic arms typically have flexibility through three joints: the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. The Arm holds various tools that can spin through a 350-degree turning range. At the end of each instrument are contact sensors, sophisticated "curb-feelers" that tell the arm motors to shut off when the instrument has made contact with the surface of the target.
Mast Assembly
The Mast Assembly contains Imaging Sensors (Pancams and Navcams) Instruments which are able to take panoramic images of the surrounding landscape and aid in Rover navigation. The Mast assembly is also contains the sensing components of instruments (Mini-TES) which require height or a line of sight in order to operate.


 Previous  Mechanical, Thermal, and Mobility Telecommunications Control and Navigation Power Scientific Payload Manipulation Rover Comparison  Next
 Close Window