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Blender Used in Google Lunar X PRIZE Rover Simulator


Developing a lunar rover simulator with Open Source tools!

Michael Thoenes writes:

Huntsville, Ala. The Rocket City Space Pioneers’ (RCSP’s) lunar rover software development team is using the open source software tools Blender, Ogre3D and Bullet Physics to develop a lunar rover simulator to train the robotic lunar rover operators. The team will use Bullet Physics for simulating the locomotion of the rover and its interactions with the lunar landscape, Blender to create 3D models of the rover and moon and Ogre3D to render and display the simulation.

Rover operators could face many challenges on the lunar surface, including a two- to five-second time delay and limited visibility from the fore and aft cameras mounted to the rover. The RCSP lunar rover simulator will allow mission control personnel to visualize the rover's response to commands and will allow simulation operators to create various failure conditions and other abnormal scenarios to test the operators’ responses to those conditions.

Read the article about this on the Rocket City Space Pioneers website:

The Rocket City Space Pioneers team, made up of Huntsville team members Dynetics (team leader), Teledyne Brown Engineering, Andrews Space, Spaceflight Services, Draper Laboratory, Moog, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation (VCSI) and the Huntsville Center for Technology (HCT), is competing for the $20 million Google Lunar X PRIZE.


  1. Food for thought...... why not make a walking robot with mounted wheels, scan the enviroment in 3d then use the "Procedural ant rig" to control the leg movements....... The perfect Land Crawler?

    • limited visibility and 2-5 second delays shouldn't be a problem, if the area was scanned, you can use another program to create the virtual world and you can manuever between obstacles, pick up objects and without waiting for the arm on the video feed to reach out.... which can be a bit annoying -_-

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