We finished the first prototype in August of 2011. We built this small, light-weight rover to mission specifications (10kg) to test basic functions. The top portion houses a full 360º camera system.
Used to test the system on the ground, the Engineering Model combines a four-wheeled rover and its two-wheeled rover connected by a tether. We tested both at the Nakatajima Sand Dunes in Shizuoka, Japan.
The vibrations associated with liftoff can tax the entire payload. We used PFM1 to test the rovers’ ability to withstand the shaking as well as the vacuum of space. This particular model won the Google Lunar XPRIZE Milestone Prize in January of 2015.
The original heat resistance test led to the use of a silver Teflon coating in the PFM3. Also, a battery alone would not offer enough power for the rover, so this model boasted small, lightweight solar panels.
The acutual model we will send to the Moon.