At first glance you can guess this robot is meant to clean something, right? But I think I would never could have guessed that this cleaning machine is in fact a Asteroid cleaner robot.
Space is fascinating, even a swiping and vacuuming space robot sounds sexy ha? Well this little guy is actually a prototype model which uses 3 rotating brushes to scoop dust into a container for analysis. It can collects 100 gram of soil in just 20 seconds.
We can learn a lot about Asteroids by testing the surface and analyzing dust samples. The challenge when you deal with dusting in space? Gravity. It’s not easy to take samples as you might think. Low gravity makes any attempt to scoop samples off the surface into a big problem. Luckily the designers over at Added Value Solutions, Spain had figured it out.
This is a smart cleaning little robot, using special sensors that can detect the distance between the brushes and the surface to adapt as necessary. For the time being it’s still not clear when and if at all this robot will be sent out to space. Currently the Asteroid cleaner is still being tested,and next month it will fly on ESA’s 64th parabolic aircraft, giving the engineers important data on how to make this robot even better before it can finally be sent out to space.