JAXA, SONY, TOMY and Doshisha University Team on Lunar Transformer Robot

Speed Magazine reported that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is teaming up with Sony, toymaker Tomy, and Doshisha University to fly a baseball-sized transforming robot to the Moon next year. In a statement released 27 May, JAXA said, “the ultra-compact and ultra-lightweight robot will obtain data on the lunar surface ahead of the agency’s launch of its six-wheeled crewed rover in 2029. …When it lands on the moon, the spherical bot will transform itself into a running form capable of withstanding the harsh environments on the lunar surface.”  If successful, Japan will be joining the U.S., Soviet Union and China in having successfully landed a robot on the Moon.

The Japanese spherical transformer is one of the latest spherical robots. Another in this unique genre is the GuardBot. See our 2020 report, which includes a schematic of the robot’s interior layout, here.