R1, the Japanese lunar rover that seems really good at everything (video)

GITAI, a Japanese company specializing in robotics and AI technologies, released the demonstration video of R1, a rover intended to explore the surface of the Moon, two days ago. The video mainly reveals the motor capabilities of the Rover, which moves on 4 wheels, each capable of rotating 360 degrees. The Rover is also equipped with two robotic arms which seem particularly agile, including during certain manipulations which require extreme precision (like here the assembly of solar panels or the collection of sand samples). Note that this fairly convincing demo was made at the Sagamihara campus of JAXA.

It remains to be seen whether R1 can withstand solar winds, the accumulation of very fine lunar dust, etc. R1 still has time to improve, as JAXA does not (yet) intend to use it for a real space mission. The chosen one of the day is a small robot ball capable of deploying once arrived on the lunar ground. The mission planned for this year is a prerequisite for the much more ambitious goal of a Japanese manned mission to the Moon, the date of which is currently set for 2029.

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