The K 10 series seem robust enough for most exploration expeditions and if they can actually implement an inductive charging solution the robot will be able to explore vast regions of planetary surfaces far longer than any solar-powered rover.
Excellent post Steve. Good information. I was unaware of this program and the status of efforts NASA is undertaking with robotic systems. One of the things I find really interesting is the seemingly small "footprint" or wheel base these systems have. I would have expected a much wider "stance" to preclude tipping. You did mention the systems would steer away from terrain to steep or rocky so as to maintain the upright condition but I wonder if this is always possible. Again, excellent post.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.