Field Trials Morocco: EU partner test new software with DFKI rover SherpaTT – اخبار مجنونة

The objective of the Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) on Space Robotics Technologies funded by the European Union is to enable major advances in space robotic technologies. Among others, these technologies are needed for future robotic missions to explore the surfaces of Mars, Moon and other celestial bodies. At the first stage of the SRC implementation (2016–2019), several research & development projects (“operational grants”) established core technologies for space robotic systems. Since lab environments cannot adequately simulate the harsh environmental conditions a space exploration robot will be confronted with, field tests in terrestrial Mars or Moon analogues are imperative.

After considering several regions in Europe and northern Africa for these tests the south-eastern region of Morocco was selected as the best choice. Near the city of Erfoud close to the Algerian border, the landscape bears a striking resemblance to some of the regions of Mars, with rocky plains free of vegetation, small hills and steep cliffs. Moreover, the dry climate enables field tests all year round. Between mid November and mid December 2018, a team of up to 50 scientists from more than 15 European universities, research organizations and private companies spent one month in the desert of Morocco. The scientists used SherpaTT, an exploration rover developed by DFKI’s Robotics Innovation Center in Germany to collect field data and to test their software. After four weeks of intensive tests and experiments, the field trials were successfully completed and SherpaTT managed to autonomously traverse about 1.4 km of unstructured terrain.


InFuse (project)

ESROCOS (project)

Funded by the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Union.

SherpaTT (robot system)

Videoproduction and editing: Thomas Frank (DFKI GmbH)

© Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI GmbH), 2018


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