The Exploration of Mars; The Snake Drone
By Kristina Garagan
Intermediate Category (Grades 9-10)
Innovation | Digital Arts and Design, Engineering and Computer Science, Environment
Mars is a planet we know quite a bit about, but we do not know everything about it. For my project I designed a drone to explore Mars’s caves and lava tubes. Although I was not able to build the drone, I made a design of which in theory would be able to do a multitude of things to allow it to explore Mars underground.
This drone is based off of snakes and resembles one too, it is because of that it is called ‘The Snake Drone’. The top of the drone is covered in protective plates that offer safety for the drone if there were ever a mars-quake. These protective plates also cover the top of its optics of which allow it to record visual data and allow humans to see the inside of the caves/lava tubes it explores. The back of each protective plate is somewhat lifted to help prevent them from getting in the way while going over debris.
The body of the snake drone is somewhat divided under each plate with each parts being connected by mechanisms that allow it to stay together and transfer power, data, ect to each part of the body. Each of these divided parts of the snake drone’s body is a miniature tread that together allows the drone mobility. The parts of the snake drone’s body is divided with the purpose of it being able to move around and even over debris so that is can extend where it explores. The predecessor drones on Mars were known to have some problems with the wheels getting clogged, but thanks to this drone’s snake-like design, if it’s treads were to get clogged, it would be able to mimic the movements of desert snakes and have continued mobility.
Under the eyes on the front of this drone is a mouth of which would allow it to collect samples. This is much more dependable than arms in a tight cave because arms simply would not have the room. Behind the mouth is a storage space of which the snake can keep the samples until it has a chance to drop them off for study. The snake drone was originally part of a much larger project that I was working on that had multiple designs, but I was unable to do the entire project online. The snake drone was my best design and that is why I brought it online for my project.