A versatile rover for accessing high-risk terrain
Potential DestinationsMoon, Mars, Asteroids
Animal Analog: Spider
DuAxel is an evolution of the Axel system, a versatile family of single-axle rovers designed to access high-risk terrain on planetary surfaces, such as steep slopes, boulder fields, and caves – areas that would be challenging or inaccessible for current rovers in use, such as Mars Curiosity.
Power of Two
DuAxel uses two connected Axel rovers to travel long distances. Upon reaching a steep slope or cliff they split in two so that one tethered Axel can rappel down the steep hazard to reach otherwise inaccessible terrain while the other acts as an anchor at the top of the slope.
By reeling and unreeling its built-in tether, the Axel rover is able to lower itself down almost any type of terrain.
To turn, the two-wheeled axle just rotates one of its wheels faster than the other. Its sensors, actuators, electronics, power, and payload are all located inside the central cylinder between the wheels.