EE Times reports NVIDIA's Tegra 3 is literally heading to the Moon. The chip will be onboard of two of Synergy Moon's experimental moon rovers that will take part in Google's $30 million Lunar X-prize contest. To win the contest, one has to safely land a robot on the Moon, travel 500 meters over the Moon's surface and transmit images and data back to Earth.
In order to win the cash prize, team Synergy Moon has partnered with former Mars Rover Simulator scientist Martin Peniak, who plans to build an Nvidia Tegra based moon rover with autonomy of movement, programmed using the firm’s CUDA programming language.
Despite being based on Nvidia’s Tegra 3 mobile application processor, the team has decided to call its robots Tesla Lunar Rover and Tesla Surveyor.
“The Tesla Surveyor is a spherical rover, designed as a virtual excursion vehicle. Equipped with twin high definition video cameras for stereoscopic vision, the Tesla Surveyor will take viewers on a trip across the surface of the moon,” said Synergy Moon on its website.
Meanwhile, the Tesla Prospector will be a more traditional four wheeled rover, designed as a virtual prospector, with sensors and cameras to examine the environment and identify the mineral content of the rocks and lunar regolith.