ESA tests self-steering rover in ‘Mars’ desert ESA

ESA assembled a top engineering team then challenged them to devise a way for rovers to navigate on alien planets. Six months later, a fully autonomous vehicle was charting its own course through Chile’s Mars-like Atacama Desert.
The recent test of the Seeker full-scale rover was the outcome of gathering a multidisciplinary team at a single site, working against the clock to achieve a breakthrough. “Their challenge was to demonstrate how a planetary rover – programmed with state-of-the-art software for autonomous navigation and making decisions – could traverse 6 km in a Mars-like environment and come back where it started,” explained ESA’s Gianfranco Visentin.