Wiggle up that hill

Published May 13, 2020

Mars rovers have trou­ble in the Red Planet’s sands because their wheels lose trac­tion on hills. But Georgia Tech roboti­cists have a solu­tion: a method they call “rear rota­tor ped­al­ing,” that every­one else called “wig­gling” that lets the robot climb a sandy Martian slope (or one made of pop­py seeds, which is appar­ent­ly similar).

“By avalanch­ing mate­ri­als from the front wheels, it cre­ates a local­ized flu­id hill for the back wheels that is not as steep as the real slope. The rover is always self-gen­er­at­ing and self-orga­niz­ing a good hill for itself.”

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