Dr. Mike Brown, the one who killed Pluto, offered a very new class this quarter aptly named: Roving on the Moon. The class will develop, design, and build a fully functioning prototype lunar rover. This rover will be capable of fulfilling the Google Lunar X-Prize requirements namely that the lunar rover must be able to rove/move 500 meters and stream video back to earth. Team FREDNET, a GLXP Team, and the only open source, 501©(3) non-profit Team competing for the prize, may incorporate the Caltech design into their lunar mission, if the design is successful.
The course syllabus list 9 goals to accomplish: (Taken from the course syllabus.)
- Discuss requirements and brainstorm basic designs.
- Determine feasibility of different designs
- Present concept for least complex, least massive solution
- Generate conceptual design of mechanics, electronics, and control software
- Present conceptual design for review; modify appropriately
- Build prototype mechanics, electronics, and control software
- Test prototype
- Present results
- Stare at the moon and wish we were there already.
Honeybee Robotics in Pasadena will collaborate with Caltech students in the building of the rover. The class may at times meet within their engineering facilities.
Dr. Brown, in speaking about the new course, states: “The students here are extremely excited by the possibility that something they start working on in the class room might eventually take them all the way to the moon.”
Only graduate and advanced undergraduate students may take the course after permission from Dr. Brown.
Bourgeois is excited about this opportunity to work with Dr. Brown and Honeybee Robotics remarking: “Team FREDNET is extremely pleased to have the resources provided by Dr. Mike Brown and his students at Cal Tech as well as Honeybee Robotics. It is fortuitous that Dr. Brown attended Grissom High School, Huntsville, AL, in the same class with my sister, Jacqueline, otherwise, I may not have ever made the connection.”
The California Institute of Technology (referred to commonly as Caltech) is a private research university located on 124 acres in Pasadena, California and approximately 11 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Caltech is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top institutions, particularly in science and engineering.
Team FREDNET, The Open Space Society, Inc. is one of the top competitors in the Google Lunar XPrize. It is the only 501© (3) non-profit Team as well as Open Source Team competing in the GLXP race. Official website: www.teamfrednet.org