Energid Technologies Corp has been contracted by NASA to produce a proxy digital simulation for lunar and planetary rovers. The $600,000 deal with the robotics firm is for two years as per the announcement made by the Cambridge company today.
Energid Technologies demonstrated its capacity to handle the project by showing the viability of simulating a rover and integrating it with NASA’s tools in a 6 month proof of concept effort. The Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA Ames Research Center in California will head the project.
The IRG at Ames needs about 10-20 scientists and controller, 10-20 operators and a remote team of 10-20 who travel to a remote location on-field while conducting field tests. By using the simulation there will be sizable reduction in these numbers.
This would offer cost savings, a reduced burden on engineers, and improved variation of scenarios for study to NASA. James English, Chief Technical Officer at Energid Technologies said that this was an ideal application of digital simulation.
He added that it would allow testing environments and situations, including planetary terrain and operation with teams of robots, that would otherwise be costly, or even impossible, to reproduce. Work on the project will be done in Massachusetts, Texas, and Arizona.