NASA has unveiled a giant new robot known as Athlete, or All Terrain Hex Limbed Extra Terrestrial Explorer. Thirteen feet tall, weighing 5,000 lbs. and boasting a payload of over 32,000 lbs, it is designed to tackle any obstacle it may encounter on the moon or an asteroid. Since it is so heavy, a vehicle like this needs large wheels for driving over large obstacles, and to prevent it from sinking into soft sand. Instead of tackling the nightmare of adding larger wheels and larger motors, the engineers sidestepped the problem by having the wheels on articulated limbs, making it much more maneuverable. It also has the ability to JUMP over obstacles!
In addition, Athlete is also equipped with an array of stereoscopic camera’s, allowing 3D vision. This will allow the controller the ability to navigate whichever foreign world Athlete may find itself on with complete depth perception.
Check out the video of Athlete in action, and more exciting details about Athlete at . The dexterity of this robot is AMAZING!