Meet R1, the centaur-shaped Japanese robot that will explore the moon

The Japanese Space Agency, robot with which he hopes to explore the lunar soil. Called R1, it was designed with the help of the Gitai firm, and is striking for its appearance.

Is that R1 is a centaur robot: on a chassis with four legs with wheels, designed to move the robot through the terrain no matter how steep it is, a torso with two robotic arms is perched, and a neck in which two cameras are located; The entire design gives it a humanoid appearance that combines with the idea of ​​the centaur, the being with the body of a horse and a human torso, with a preponderant role in classical mythology and in the films of the Narnia saga.

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Here, however, it is a vehicle designed to roam, very slowly, the lunar soil, collecting rock samples and taking it to one of the lunar bases that NASA, JAXA, the European, Chinese and Russian agencies are planning for the coming years. His movement is slow: the one in the official video is sped up 10 or 15 times.

The most advanced is Artemis programwhose goal was to put astronauts back on the lunar surface in 2024, although it is somewhat delayed, and now they calculate that it will be in 2025, with the first manned mission by 2024, and a previous launch, this year, with an Orion rocket and the sending of 13 satellites into space.

Gitai, the Japanese firm that collaborated with JAXA on the centaur robot design, also built a full-size mockup of the Kibo module, which clips onto the International Space Station and includes a robotic arm capable of operating and assembling panels, connecting cables and more.

GDA / The Nation / Argentina

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