We did it! After some busy days and weeks we did it! We sent a lunar payload proposal to the Google Lunar XPrize team of Part Time Scientists.
It’s called the LunaRoo! It is a hopping science platform for the moon designed by our team here at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
The LunaRoo is a hopping robot designed to exploit the Moon’s lower gravity to leap up to 20m above the surface. It is compact enough to fit within a 10cm cube, whilst providing unique observation and mission capabilities.
Find out more on the newly created webpage and/or Twitter:
Whoa, wow, whaaaa, … those are the first impressions that come to mind when looking back at the Pioneers festival the last few days in the Hofburg in Vienna.
I witnessed the world premier of the flying car, which was an amazing, from-the-heart presentation by their creators. Somehow I managed to talk to Xavier de Le Rue, (if you don’t know him, French snowboarder, world champion and XGamer) who was there presenting his movie/snowboard drone camera. Maybe there is a follow up with our research that we did at USI/IDSIA
I listened to a wonderful panel on space exploration and pioneering, and chatted, while having a beer with Andy Aldrin and Pete Worden!! Yes, he is the son of that, moon-walking Aldrin and currently the President of Moon Express, one of the companies vying for the Google Lunar XPrize (and open for lunar rover suggestions, might look at that in Brisbane…)
Pete Worden is the head of the NASA AMES research centre and just an amazingly great guy to talk to! AMES is close to the valley in California and has contacts with Google and such, for example, using quantum computing for optimization. They are also home to the Intelligent Robotics Group, hopefully Pete will send me some contacts for those guys!
Apart from all this, there was a lot of “networking” going on, facilitated by the red bulls and the pioneers brew. I met a variety of people, active in different areas of pioneering, from robotics to AI, from bio to medicine.
In short, the Pioneers Festival 2014 was, yet again, an awesome experience!! And it is going to be continued in 2015 …
Update: here’s a video showing the highlights from Pioneers 2014:
Recently we have been quite busy with writing, proof-reading and submitting various proposals. The IDSIA Robotics Lab is involved in some new interesting projects, one in the FP7-SPACE-2013 call. The GMV lead project aims to look at autonomous operations of a Mars rover with a focus on biological evidence/fact finding. In the meantime I was also writing an SNF Doc.Mobility proposal and started to look into writing my PhD proposal (2nd year review). *pfff*
The MAVEN Team at Goddard has put up some videos to show what it takes to build a satellite. Those short animated movies are a quick look into all the work it takes to make a space mission work. NASA seems to do it not much more different than ESA does *smile* The videos are after the jump.