NASA is planning to send a group of three mini rovers to the moon next year to test their ability to perform autonomous tasks. The mission, part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, aims to demonstrate how robots can cooperate to accomplish tasks without direct human control.
The mission will be a part of NASA’s Cooperative Autonomous Distributed Robotic Exploration project.
The rovers will operate without human intervention and will receive generalized commands from a command base on the main lander. The rovers, about the size of a carry-on suitcase, will then determine how to accomplish the high-level goal on their own, including driving, path selection, and maneuvering around obstacles.
The mission’s success will showcase how a network of mobile robots can efficiently cooperate to perform tasks autonomously, potentially improving the efficiency of future missions. The project is a significant step in NASA’s efforts to advance robotic exploration and pave the way for future lunar exploration missions.