Wolfgang Fink (right) and his grad student Alex Jacobs prepare to launch TEX II for a series of tests on a lake (Photo: Wolfgang Fink/ECE/University of Arizona College of Engineering)
TEX II is a robotic lake lander, designed for autonomously exploring bodies of water on other planets (Photo: Wolfgang Fink/ECE/University of Arizona College of Engineering)
Ask someone to picture a robotic roving vehicle, and chances are they’ll think of something with wheels, like the Mars Rover. If an alien civilization were sending a craft to explore Earth, however, they might be better off using a boat – after all, the majority of our planet’s surface is covered with water. Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, similarly has a pretty wet surface, as it contains lakes of liquid hydrocarbon. Wolfgang Fink, an engineer with the University of Arizona, has designed an aquatic rover for exploring those lakes.
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