audi moon rover robot

Short Bytes: Audi AG is the lead sponsor for the autonomous moon rover created by Part Time Scientists team, who is one out of five other teams at the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE completion. The rover is called Audi Lunar Quattro.

In the past, we talked about the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition which is a $30 million challenge to land an autonomous land rover on the lunar surface. After the landing, the has to cover a distance of 500m and send HD images of the surroundings.

Part Time Scientists, one out of five teams who got to the final level of the competition that was started back in 2007, has bagged Audi’s (pronounced as OW-DEE) support for the lead sponsorship. The German automaker has appointed a team of qualified engineers who are working with the Part Time Scientists team to have 384,400 km of “Vorsprung Durch Teknik” into the rover.

“With Audi we have acquired a strong partner that will bring us a big step forward with its technological and mobility capabilities. We very much look forward to future interaction and a fruitful partnership.” Said Robert Böhme, head and founder of the team.

The Audi Lunar Quattro, as it is called, is a 35-kilo solar-powered rover made up of a high-strength aluminium chassis and packs a rechargeable li-ion battery under its belly. The PT Scientists team with the Audi minds are working to enhance Quattro’s efficiency while speeding at 3.6km/h under temperatures rising up to 120 degree Celsius as no atmosphere is present on the moon.

For the photo session, three cameras are fitted in the Quattro’s head of which two are for capturing 3D images and one is for research needs, will be used to capture HD images and study moon surface.

Furthermore, the Audi Lunar Quattro will only be allowed for its space journey, if it successfully clears “wide-ranging testing, trials and quality assurances” and that its electric motor and other electronic components qualify the stress test exam designed by the Audi specialists. The rover will be observed for any wear and tear that may occur during the testing phase and will be modified accordingly.

moon rover audi robot

The team of engineers is also assisting the PTS team for improvements in the electric motors of the Audi Lunar Quattro for a permanent all-wheel drive system. All four wheels are fitted with Double Wishbone suspension system, so the Lunar Quattro can comfortably rotate all of its four wheels by 360 degrees while on the long drive.

Robert Böhme is the leader of a 35-member core team of scientists, physicists, and mathematicians spanning across three continents. Described by his friends as an eternal optimist, the 29-year-old man with a primary job as an IT security expert is quite enthusiastic and determined for the moon mission he is heading. ”It is good to have something that is greater than yourself. It helps you to grow”, he says.

A total 70 people are involved in the mission to shortcut the space exploration. Other big names in the sponsors list are of NVIDIA, CITIM GmBH, The Technical University of Berlin, The SLM Solutions Group, Austrian Space Forum, and so on.

Previously, we told you about another participant in the moon mission, the Israel-based SpaceIL who partnered with Space Flight Technologies to transport their rover from earth to the moon.

You also send your selfie and other stuff to the moon with Audi Lunar Quattro at a nominal price of €700($ 754) per kilo, and your personal stuff will spend rest of its life on the moon.

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Also read: Margaret Hamilton: Meet The Woman Whose Code Took Humans to The Moon