Solitary lunar rovers have been invaluable to our efforts exploring the Moon. But a group of scientists led by ETH Zurich is now looking at sending an entire squad of robots that collaborate and complement each other instead.

To test the idea, the researchers used three ANYmal robots — a type of four-legged, dog-like robot developed at the ETH. They gave them different tasks and specialties and fitted them with the respective equipment.

“Using multiple robots has two advantages,” explained Philip Arm, a doctoral student in the group. “The individual robots can take on specialised tasks and perform them simultaneously. Moreover, thanks to its redundancy, a robot team is able to compensate for a teammate’s failure.”

To ensure a well-balanced team, the scientists equipped two of the robots as “specialists” and the third one as a “generalist.”

robot Moon exploration