Expert Voices

Google Lunar X Prize: Hakuto's Tethered Moon Rovers (Gallery)

An interesting team

Hakuto

Hakuto contributed these images to Space.com's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

As the only Japanese team competing for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, Hakuto is using an off-the-shelf approach to develop tethered robots for exploring the sub-surface caves of the moon.

The gallery that follows shows their entry: A pair of rovers that can work independently or in collaboration. The four-wheel robot (informally called Moonraker) and its two-wheeled collaborator (Tetris) can be stored for transport to the moon in a volume of just 50cm (width) x 50cm (height) x 50cm (depth) — with the robots having a combined mass of fewer than 10 kilograms.

A two-wheeler

Hakuto

The two-wheel Tetris model is made of extremely light-weight carbon fiber.

Two models

Hakuto

Engineering models of the dual rover system including the four-wheeled Moonraker and the two-wheeled Tetris rovers undergoing field testing at the Nakatajima Dune, Hamamatsu, Shizuokain, Japan, in late 2013.

How they work together

Hakuto

Demonstration of the tether system between Hakuto's dual rovers during field tests at the Nakatajima Dune, Hamamatsu,Shizuokain, Japan, in late 2013.

Kazuya Yoshida

Hakuto

Kazuya Yoshida, rover development lead for Google Lunar XPRIZE team Hakuto.

The interface

Hakuto

A human-machine interface demonstration using Oculus Rift at the Nakatajima Dune, Hamamatsu, Shizuokain, Japan, in late 2013.

A demonstration

Hakuto

Moonraker engineering model demonstration at the Nakatajima Dune, Hamamatsu, Shizuokain, Japan, in late 2013.

Talk it out

Hakuto

Discussion with volunteer members of Team Hakuto at lab facilities in Tokyo, Japan.

Moonraker field test

Hakuto

Moonraker engineering model demonstration at the Nakatajima Dune, Hamamatsu, Shizuokain, Japan in late 2013.

The status

Hakuto

Checking rover status on-screen during a field demonstration at the Nakatajima Dune, Hamamatsu, Shizuokain, Japan, in late 2013.

Hakuto's XPRIZE rover

Hakuto

Artist's impression of the Hakuto rover on the surface of the Moon.

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