TEX II could explore lakes of other planets

robotic planetary lake lander

TEX II (Tucson Explorer II) is an autonomous robotic lake lander developed by Wolfgang Fink at the University of Arizona. It is typically designed to explore lakes of liquid hydrocarbon in Saturn’s largest moon called as Titan. It could also be used in other applications like hazardous cleanup, harbor surveillance, environmental research, and search and rescue missions.

TEX II is the second planetary rover developed by Fink. His previous robot was based on land planetary rover. Both these robots are part of his NASA award winning concept of planetary exploration.

TEX II gets a catamaran design in order to provide improved stability. It has two six feet long Styrofoam hulls, and both are placed at five feet distant. This 100-pound weighted vehicle is mounted with a raised deck at its top for carrying 150-pound loads of batteries, computers, and sensors.

The maximum speed of TEX II will usually depend on the number of motors installed. The sensors in this robot comprise of sonar and cameras, which can penetrate to a depth of up to 100 meters. In addition, it incorporates two electrical rear propellers that can rotate its blades separately in any direction. As a result, it is capable of moving backward and forward, rotating in the same place, and turning to any side.

An added advantage in the TEX II is that it can be controlled from anywhere in the world remotely through the internet. Moreover, this robot can be fitted with additional sensors for recognizing toxins, explosives, pathogens, radiation, etc.

TEX II robotic vehicle traveling on the water is shown in the below video.

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