Europe Builds Autonomous Robotic Orb to Explore Lunar Caves

The European Space Agency is now testing a new robot that plans to send it to the moon, where it will be able to explore lunar caves without hesitation. The DAEDALUS robot seems to be a little more than a robotic cell – the ESA even compared it to a “hamster ball” in a press release about the project. However, it is filled with tools that will not only help scientists better understand the lunar caves, but will also help space agencies plan for possible bases or settlements above or below the lunar surface.

According to the press release, the plan is to bring DAEDALUS down from a tether to the lunar cave, which will act as a receiver after the robot reports released and the search for the area begins. “The design is guided by the need to serve a full 360 degrees around and protect the interior from harsh lunar environments,” DAEDALUS developer Dorit Borrmann said in a press release.

“The cameras serve as a stereo vision system and laser distance measurement, detecting obstacles during the sphere’s ascent and navigating autonomously after reaching the pit floor.” 

In particular, DAEDALUS will explore two things: beneath the hidden moon surface of ice [and whether any lunar caves will be able to protect future settlers or astronauts hospitable conditions and especially from deadly cosmic radiation in space. DAEDALUS scientists did not first suggest that life on the moon would protect underground, but their slightly rounded sail may be an important part of finding out how far this plan is possible.

What looks like a shaking hamster ball that can explore the depths of the moon’s caves is actually a robotic sphere. Descending and exploring the deep autonomy of lunar underground structures, built by a team of Julius- Maximilians-University of Würzburg (JMU) in Germany, DAEDALUS is a contemporary design of the ESA to value robots as part of a larger study of the moon.

The lunar orbit has mapped multiple deep holes on the surface of the moon, believed to be the ‘skylight’ in the lava caves. These offer high scientific interest, offering access to the original lunar material offering even the accumulation of water ice.