Have you ever wanted a rocket pack to soar amongst the sky? Now you can … on Mars… Gravity is less, atmospheric density is less, and the vistas are breathtaking. So come to Mars...
Buck Rogers aside, Mars is an interesting environment for out-of-this-world mobility options for an explorer. This challenge asks for the definition of a conceptual mobility solution to allow an astronaut to easily and rapidly explore Mars including overcoming obstacles such as cliffs, ravines and other difficult terrain. The solution should be person-portable and any means or source of propulsion be locally produced.
This challenge can be answered by:
Using current technologies to help create a usable solution on Mars. Over the last few millenniums humans have looked to the sky for answer and for inspiration. The heavens have formed and molded our minds, through story, art, film, and religion, it has been pivotal for us to explore the unknowns of science. For me Star Wars, Star Trek, and many games, have helped me have a view of the universe with a want to see many of the Sci-Fi technologies to exist.
Seeing what we have achieved on the moon, I wanted to create something that not only worked, but looked the part. Integrating what science has, as well as design, my concept is a human powered mono-cycle.
The Power: Humans. Using leg power, I decided to use a reliable and lasting fuel, as shown by time on our planet not everything lasts forever, and if we were to use elements from mars, at what point would we run out. To aid in travelling, there is an integrated dynamo engine in the pedal axle, being powered by the cycling, it helps our astronaut push along.
The Grip: Gecko feet. Geckos have an amazing ability to walk across any surface at any angle, due to the molecular design in their feet. I wanted to use his same engineering in my tires, so that I was able to send the astronaut up, down, and across any face on Mars. With a soft tube, hopefully, the surface and weight of the cycle would be proportioned enough to traverse cliffs.
The Transporting: Back pack. Because of its 1.5 meter diameter size, it would easily fit on a hook on the back pack of an astronaut, meaning they can stop and go when they please.
Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Labtory,Stanford University
Autumn, K., Liang, Y.A., Hsieh, S.T., Zesch, W., Chan,W-P.,Kenny, W.T., Fearing, R. and Full, R.J. (2000), "Adhesive force of a single gecko foot-hair", Nature, Vol. 405,pp. 681–5.