Mars rover, Curiosity, might have got all the praise and attention in the recent past, but that surely doesn’t mean there is nothing so impressive about the robot rovers on earth. Here comes one from the China’s Kunlun Polar Research Team in Antarctica, the Polar Rover and it is to impress you for sure. Made to explore the frozen surfaces of the Antarctica, Polar rover is a research vehicle powered solely by renewable energy.
Polar Rover harvests wind energy with the help of top mounted HoYi? turbine (rated at 200 watts) from New York’s Urban Green Energy (UGE) to claim the title of world’s fist wind powered, satellite controlled autonomous robot. It uses numerous sensors that include atmospheric sensors, snow samplers, geography and geology analyzers as it goes on exploring the Antarctic sheets to document the impact that global warming has on the region.
The autonomous robot which is 1.8 meters long, 1.6 meters wide, 1.2 meters high and weighs 300 kilograms made its maiden voyage last month wherein it covered impressive 2,500 km in 58 days at an average height of 4,000 meters above the sea level. The rover is capable of tackling the obstacles as high as 0.5 meters and what’s even worth noticing is the fact that small four wheeled vehicle didn’t topple over even in severe windy storms that the continent is known for.
The hallmark of Polar Rover during the expedition is the use of wind power that enables it to perform for a longer period of time. Additionally, the Polar Rover which is capable of moving swiftly in cold temperatures, geomagnetic interferences, cosmic rays or for that matter, in severe environmental conditions is surely a move ahead in environmental robotic practices to make earth a better place to live.