Using autonomous robots for polar exploration is not a new thing. Researchers from China’s Kunlun Polar Research Team in Antarctica have now introduced a new interesting robot powered with renewable energy.
The research vehicle, named Polar Rover, is the world’s first wind powered, satellite controlled, autonomous robot that measures 1.8 metres in length, 1.2 metres in height, 1.6 metres in width and weighs 300 kilograms. It is also equipped with atmospheric sensors, a snow sampler, and geography and geology analyzers.
The scientists have added a mini wind turbine on the top of this research vehicle. This compact wind turbine named HoYi is designed and produced by the Urban Green Energy (UGE), a company based in New York.
Polar Rover has traveled an impressive 2500 km at an average height of 4000 meters above sea level. It can perform tasks under cold temperatures and also capable of operating under cosmic rays, polar winds, geomagnetic interference and other extreme environmental conditions. The vehicle can even withstand hurricane force winds in Antarctic.
The use of wind power in the research robot also offers long lasting performance while monitoring the environment. Though, Polar Rover is not the first robot to be used in Antarctic ice, but the combination of renewable energy source is a promising feature in it.