This was undertaken as a team project over a 2 day period for a hackathon hosted by the Imperial College Space Society, in partnership with Spacebit - a UK space robotics company. We were set the task of designing, presenting, and demonstrating a system that could safely lower Spacebit's Asagumo rover down from a height of 0.8 m onto the lunar surface.
The challenge included strict dimensional and mass specifications. Furthermore, the robot had to be deployed the correct way up, using no pyrotechnics for the deployment. Additionally, deployment had to be smooth so to not churn up dust from the surface of the moon, and conditions such as the extreme temperatures of space had to be accounted for.
Our team's proposed solution involved lowering the robot on a lightweight cage, that would detach from the external shell (where the robot is stored in transit) and be gradually lowered to the surface via a motor-assisted winch. Furthermore, the base of the cage would be made from a honeycomb mesh, acting as a crumple zone to soften the landing.