Manufacturing News, Robotics & Automation, Space Manufacturing

Australian made lunar rover tours Australia

The ‘ELO2 Consortium,’ an Australian Made Moon rover prototype is touring the country, hopping from state to state to undertake design validation testing at specialist facilities.

In March, the ELO2 Consortium demonstrated its autonomous robotics capabilities by driving a rover at the Australian Rover Challenge in Adelaide from a remote command centre across the globe.

The ELO2 Consortium, co-led by EPE and Lunar Outpost Oceania, has been awarded funding under the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Initiative: Trailblazer Program Stage 1.

The intention is to create Australian Made rover for a future mission to the Moon with NASA, as part of the Artemis program. 

If successful in winning Stage 2, the ELO2 rover will become Australia’s first lunar rover and its name will be “Roo-ver”, as voted by the Australian public.

The ELO2 Consortium prototype rovers have been officially accredited with the Australian Made certification, recognising them as being genuinely made in Australia.

This week, in celebration of Australian Made Week, the prototypes highlight the importance of locally designed and engineered products. 

Built-in Australia by a consortium of Australian companies, the ELO2 prototype rovers underscore the Australian Government’s commitment to innovation and local manufacturing.

Program manager at Lunar Outpost Oceania, Joseph Kenrick said by designing and manufacturing space robotics hardware and software in Australia, they are supporting the industry and its jobs.  

“By building a consortium of Australian companies and research organisations designing and manufacturing space robotics hardware and software right here in Australia, we’re not only ensuring the sustainability of the industry but also growing local jobs, building Australia’s economy, and helping Australia make its mark in the global space ecosystem,” said Kenrick.

As the ELO2 rover prototypes make their way across the nation, they demonstrate the remarkable achievements that can be realised through local collaboration and innovation.

“Australian Made Week is a perfect opportunity to showcase the ingenuity, tradecraft, and cutting-edge technology that our local industries offer. It’s not just about celebrating the products; it’s about recognising the skill and dedication that go into producing them. 

Supporting Australian-made products – even space robots that we can send to the Moon – ensures that we maintain control over quality, invest in our communities, and secure a robust future for Australian industries and the Australian supply chain,” said Kenrick.

Australian Made Chief Executive, Ben Lazzaro, said Australian Made Week aims to put the spotlight on genuine Aussie goods.

“Australian Made Week is a time to celebrate all the things that we make, from products you buy on your weekly shop, to the incredible creations happening in robotics.

Aussie products are made to some of the highest standards in the world, are trusted, and are known for their safety and quality,” said Lazzaro. 

With the tick of approval from the rover’s new Aussie mates, kangaroos Pluto and Venus, ELO2 is looking forward to bringing the prototypes to visit more destinations across Australia this year, to share this historically significant and uniquely Australian journey towards the Moon.

If you missed the rover at Australian Made Week, you can still see a demonstration in Sydney at The Australian Space Summit and Exhibition, this Tuesday and Wednesday from 8.30 am to 4 pm at the ICC.

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