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[1] The Life in the Atacama project investigated the regional distribution of life and habitats in the Atacama Desert of Chile. We sought to create biogeologic maps through survey traverses across the desert using a rover carrying biologic and geologic instruments. Elements of our science approach were to: Perform ecological transects from the relatively(More)
The Atacama Desert of northern Chile may be the most lifeless place on Earth, yet microorganisms do survive in some areas. The distribution and diversity of life in the Atacama remains unexplored and is the focus of the Life in the Atacama project. To conduct this investigation, survey traverses across the desert with biologic and geologic instruments will(More)
To study life in the Mars-like Atacama Desert of Chile we have created a robot, Zoë, and conducted three seasons of technical and scientific experiments. We describe Zoë's exploration algorithms and architecture and assess a total of six months of long distance survey traverses. To date Zoë has navigated autonomously over 250 km. Its average distance per(More)
Scarab is a prototype rover for Lunar missions to survey resources in polar craters. It is designed as a prospector that would use a deep coring drill and apply soil analysis instruments to measure the abundance of elements of hydrogen and oxygen and other volatiles including water. Scarab's chassis can adjust the wheelbase and height to stabilize its drill(More)
This paper describes the evolution of the control, navigation , and mapping capabilities of a hovering autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) designed to explore flooded cenotes in Mexico as part of the DEPTHX project. The vehicle is equipped with a suite of navigation sensors that allow it to localize itself and and create maps of the complex 3D environments(More)
Scarab is a prototype rover for lunar missions to survey resources, particularly water ice, in polar craters. It is designed as a prospector that would use a deep coring drill and apply soil analysis instruments. Its chassis can transform to stabilize its drill in contact with the ground and can also adjust posture to ascend and descent steep slopes. Scarab(More)
Scarab is a prospecting rover for lunar missions to survey resources, particularly water ice, in polar craters. It is designed for the deployment of a deep coring drill and for transport of soil analysis instruments. Its chassis can transform to stabilize the drill in contact with the ground and can also adjust to ascend and descent steep slopes of(More)
Next-generation planetary exploration rovers will soon be able to travel long distances in a single-communication cycle. This offers an enormous opportunity but also an important challenge: robots will need to do science autonomously and understand collected data in order to make more effective exploration decisions. We have developed a system to obtain(More)
LORAX is a robotic mission to characterize the distribution of microbes in Antarctica's ice sheets. Robotic platform requirements include navigational autonomy and clean, sustainable power systems to operate unattended for a month without introducing contamination that would affect the results. This paper details the LORAX investigation, the navigational(More)