When's the last time you saw a new wheeled vehicle, designed from the ground-up, with no predecessor to reference and inspire the form? Astrolab, a startup founded by spaceflight robotics engineer Jaret Matthews, shows us one with their FLEX prototype, an optionally-autonomous utility rover designed for NASA to use on the moon and Mars.
The minimalist FLEX has no seats, just a sort of rear-mounted running board that can carry two, like a two-person chariot.
Four wheels that can rotate and raise/lower independently jut outwards on grasshopper-like legs.
The bulk of the vehicle is essentially an inverted-U-shaped chassis; the vehicle can "kneel" to pick up a cargo container, drive around with it stored in the cavity, then drop it off. You can also run a sling beneath the vehicle, to carry a wounded astronaut as on a stretcher, for instance.
The solar-powered FLEX has a runtime of 8 hours with two astronauts on board. It weighs around 1,100 pounds, but can carry three times its weight.
It's tough to get a sense of what this thing looks like from 2D stills, but this video (both CG and field trials of the real deal) give you a better sense:
Enter a caption (optional)
A desktop CNC milling machine can be a practical addition to your prototyping or small-scale fabrication operations.
3D modeling has been a part of the profession of industrial design since before computers were even conceived.
With so many online learning platforms out there, it can be hard as a designer to decipher where to go...
We are building this list as a resource for designers who are looking for a starting point in picking a...
In the 1990s 3D printing was adopted by forward-looking design studios for prototyping – it was not widespread though for...
Community driven, engineering oriented, detailed and aesthetic, 3D printing oriented, royalty-free, paid, free.
Technology can be a great help when it comes to organizing your research on an ongoing project or in new...
Don't have an account? Join Now
Create a Core77 Account
Already have an account? Sign In
Please enter your email and we will send an email to reset your password.
No predecessor? What of the Quadractor?
no predecessor? what about dock gantry cranes?
no predecessor? what about the lunar rover?