Friday, July 22, 2011

Moon-Bots, Go!

The parts to build the parts, that’s what I want to see on the Moon! In situ PV melted into the surface regolith, doped with the right materials, then phased array power transmission pouring power down onto the Earth, for them as can build retennas... But you need machines for that, built on the Moon so that we can make more of them, and the machines to do that are an engineering design project, in vacuum, under extremes of temperature, etc.
Anybody like a good challenge? 8-P

       It all has to be transported to the Moon in the first place, so small is beautiful!
       The design must be robust and/or we must allow for a high replacement rate; probably both.
       Simplicity over elegance because, y'know, robust? 8-P
       Solid-state wherever possible, moving parts are subject to wear and tear.
       Sinter regolith into building materials, to provide shade and thermal insulation for the work.
       Legs and manipulators? Replaceable and interchangeable, so perhaps they are one and the same?
       An eight-legged robot chasis, on a 1 by 2 by 2 rectangular volume. Each cube is replaceable, with mountings at the corners and accepts plug-ins in each face- manipulators, legs, cameras or whatever.

That is the Square design- it uses boxes, levers and radial motors. The Triangular design builds tubes and dodecahedra in a wire-frame of triangles using linear motors to lengthen and contract the structural members, and favors five-sided radial designs (I used this for the bots in one EW flashfic). The Blob is a micro-elctromechanical or even full-fledged molecular nanotech design which builds in smaller, disposable units that flow within or on the surface of the object, so that it 'oozes' and rolls along, like the liquid metal design from T2, leaving a 'slime' of a sensors along the way.
This is all the beginnings of a good story, methinks... the robot ecology is replaced over time and/or evolves into something else, until one day a fabricator spits out a humanoid robot, an android or remote for a human on Earth.

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