Artemis: Software Simulates Mars Rover Mobility to Keep Rovers Rolling

Mobility is a crucial part of a rover's mission on the surface of Mars. The ability to travel across the terrain without becoming stuck is a problem researchers have been trying to solve for some time. Now, a team from MIT's Robotic Mobility Group, Washington University, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has developed a model called Artemis that accurately simulates rover mobility over various types of soil and terrain. The model works a lot like a video game. A user plugs in commands to, for example, move the simulated rover forward a certain distance - instructions similar to those that NASA engineers give to rovers on Mars. The simulation then predicts how the rover will move, based on the underlying soil properties, vehicle characteristics, and a terrain's incline.