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 NIST Lunar Rover Full-Scale Mock-up - Above view

 NIST Lunar Rover Full-Scale Mock-up - Front view

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The rover is based on the NIST RoboCrane and includes a folding, octahedral frame with cables to minimize leg side-loads. Solar panels fill the leg frames. Wheels are expected to be large and independently driven, but lightweight (such as thin or balloon). The center post supports a communication dish and cameras. The center post is pulled down with three cables to tension a suspended, Stewart-platform, parallel-link manipulator housed within the legs. The manipulator carries an experimentation package (such as an auger, sensors, and gripper). Since the rover legs are hinged at the upper frame, the rover can become narrow or wide to adapt to the exploration area.