Lunar All-Terrain Utility Vehicle for EVA

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX07CA34P
Agency Tracking Number: 067079
Amount: $99,960.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: X7.03
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1908 Shaw Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15217-1710
DUNS: 621287403
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Stuart Heys
 Principal Investigator
 (773) 412-3081
Business Contact
 Dimitrios Apostolopoulos
Title: Director and Adminstrative POC
Phone: (412) 916-8807
Research Institution
ProtoInnovations, LLC proposes to develop a new type of planetary rover called a Lunar All-terrain Utility Vehicle ("Lunar ATV") to assist extra-vehicular activities in future lunar missions. The vehicle will operate unmanned or with an astronaut driving onboard. It will have a roughly 4 m2 footprint and be able to about twice as fast as an astronaut can walk on the Moon. The vehicle will feature four-wheel, all-terrain mobility with traction control. A multi-purpose tool interface and interchangeable cargo bays will support a variety of mission payloads. The Lunar ATV will be used for mission such as site preparation, emplacing beacons, equipment and commodity distribution, and sampling. It will also be useful for human/robot interaction experiments taking place at NASA research centers. The primary innovations of this effort are: • A high-efficiency, long-life, lunar-relevant traction drive system • A simplified steer / suspension chassis built for speeds over 1 m/s without sacrificing weight or maneuverability • A multi-purpose tool interface for earthmoving, sampling, emplacing, etc. • Traction control software to maximize performance in earthmoving and negotiating rough terrain • CLARAty-compatible vehicle and tool interfaces to leverage NASA-developed teleoperation and autonomy software ProtoInnovations brings an impressive amount of experience to the task of designing the Lunar ATV. Working at Carnegie Mellon University, members of our team have developed robots to operate in some of the harshest environments on Earth: surveying Antarctic ice fields, traversing the Atacama Desert, exploring into an Alaskan volcano and mapping Chernobyl. In total, our robots have traveled roughly 500 km through some of the most difficult terrain on Earth. We've accomplished these tasks by building robots that are, above all else, controllable and reliable. Our team has experience building all of the subsystems involved in this project.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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