The two-wheeled robotic swarm concept for Mars exploration

Alexander Petrovsky, Ivan Kalinov, Pavel Karpyshev, Dzmitry Tsetserukou, Anton Ivanov, Alessandro Golkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Recent Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) launched in 2021 show the growing interest in the robot's mobility improvement and application of cooperative robotics. Increased mobility has been addressed by launching the first flying robot to Mars, bringing new opportunities to explore previously inaccessible areas. Such collaborative solutions expand the possibilities for Mars exploration. This paper suggests a concept for using a modular robotic swarm consisting of several independent two-wheeled robots. To evaluate the proposed system, we introduce a development methodology for MERs along with metrics for assessing modular surface exploration systems. This article focuses on how cooperative modular robotic solutions for Mars exploration can improve such Figures of Merit (FOMs) as mission lifetime, exploration speed, and cost of the mission. To validate the FOMs for a proposed solution, we use Pareto Frontiers as a decision instrument for multi-objective optimization. Our results illustrate the engineering tradeoffs and potential advantages between two-wheeled rovers and existing Mars Exploration Rovers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalActa Astronautica
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • MER reliability
  • Mars exploration
  • Mission lifetime
  • Robotic swarm
  • Systems engineering
  • Two-wheeled robot


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