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Abstract

In 2008, the European Space Agency (ESA) challenged universities to design, develop, and test teleoperated robotic systems for a soil-sampling mission in a simulated lunar-crater-like environment. Eight teams participated and developed a wide range of engineering solutions that addressed the various technical and operational challenges posed by the unfavorable terrain and harsh environment. The robotic concepts developed by the teams are presented and evaluated in this paper. We highlight operational and technical issues that the teams experienced during an intensive 8-day field campaign, report on design solutions that were adopted to assist in operating a robotic system in a lunar environment, and describe the lesson learned through participation in this field-testing event. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.