Curiosity Working Its Arm - September 06, 2012
This simulation shows planned movements of the arm on NASA's Curiosity rover for round one of its robotic arm checkouts, expected to run on Sol 33 (Sept. 8, 2012). This so-called "teach point" checkout activity consists of repeating arm moves and taking images with the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to match those acquired on Earth prior to launch. This ensures that the calibration and placement accuracy of the arm is within expected levels on Mars, which has different environmental conditions, such as weaker gravity. This engineering tool, called the Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP) helps engineers plan the rover's motions and drives. The visualization component of the RSVP tool is called Hyperdrive.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech