>Astrobotic lander ramp deploys without using motors:
One of the challenges in delivering a mobile robot to the Moon is getting it
off the lander and down to the surface. The video below shows the conceptual
design of a ramp that unfolds from the lander using only a preloaded spring
for power. During flight, the mechanism is clamped in place using frangibolts,
which are electrically triggered release mechanisms. When the frangibolts release,
the ramp unfolds under the control of a series of rigid hinged linkages called
a four-bar mechanism. The mechanism fully extends the ramp well before it
touches the ground — no rocks or other obstacles can prevent its full deployment.
The robot drives down the ramp’s gentle 15-degree slope. A second ramp on the
opposite side of the rover provides an alternative exit if rocks or craters present
hazards on one side.
The image below shows details, including the ring attachment to the launch vehicle
at the bottom. Launch forces are transmitted through the ring up to a second ring
visible under the rover. The yellow panel on the right of the lander indicates one of
eight locations where payloads can be attached to the lander. All eight locations have
direct access to the lunar soil for experiments, and four them also have direct sky
views for communications or optical experiments.