Part Time Scientists (PTS) is a team from Germany that is competing for Google´s Lunar X Price. It gets support from SLM Solutions and now Audi.
The team started their challenge to build a rover, send it to the moon, land it successfully and drive at least 500 meters in 2009. A price of 30 million US$ is awaiting the first team to successfully do this.
The name of the robot is Asimov Jr., an homage to the famous professor and author Isaac Asimov.
SLM Solutions has supported the project with their know how in additive technologies nearly from the beginning. Parts like the wheels and the head have been 3D printed since the early stages of the robot.
Test drive in Tenerife from January 2015:
In the course of 2015 another German company jumps onboard to help engineer the Asimov Jr. Audi helps with their engineering know how in additive manufacturing, weight reduction and the Quattro all wheel drive technology. Since then the design of the wheels has changed and Audi´s know how helped to reduce the the weight of the rover more than 10 kilograms.
At this year’s Detroit Auto Show the car manufacturer showcases the newest design of PTS´ moon rover.
Here´s an interesting interview with Robert Böhme, CEO of the Part Time Scientists: