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Planetary Robotics Vision Scout


PRoViScout stands for “Planetary Robotics Vision Scout”JR rover

It is a Collaborative Project in the frame of FP7-SPACE -2009-1.


Starting date:                Apr 1st, 2010

Project duration:           30 Months

Official Link:         


ProViScout will demonstrate the combination of vision-based autonomous sample identification & sample selection with terrain hazard analysis for a long range scouting/exploration mission on a terrestrial planet. It brings together major European groups currently working on planetary robotic vision, supported by NASA-JPL from USA.

Most robotic planetary space missions performing in situ exploration of the surface and atmosphere for any planetary object outside the Earth involve a means of mobility provided by either a surface vehicle ( rover ) or by aerial vehicles (balloons, aerobots etc.).
Mobile systems are among the most critical of all space missions in requiring a rapid and robust on-site processing and preparation of scientific data to allow efficient operations for a maximum use of their limited lifetime. In future the number and variety of such platforms will require more autonomy than is feasible today, particularly in the autonomous on-site selection of and access to scientific and mission-strategic targets. ProViScout will provide the robotic vision building blocks on board of such future autonomous exploration systems.

Therefore ProViScout aims to

  1. build a framework for planetary robotic on-board vision processing,
  2. develop the technology to autonomously select scientific sites of interest during future planetary robotic missions in order to maximize the mission value for scientific research, technology and education
  3. develop a unified and generic approach for robotic vision on-board processing, namely the combination of navigation and scientific target selection
  4. demonstrate the synergies and complementarities of existing solutions, and complete missing components by defining and demonstrating on-board robotic vision for a set of typical reference mission scenarios,
  5. integrate all components into a framework ready for field demonstration
  6. increase public awareness of planetary robotic exploration.

What does PRoViScout want to achieve?

The objective of PRoiViScout is to increase the amount of quality science data that remote planetary rovers can deliver on behalf of Earth based science teams. This will be done by prototyping intelligent technologies which increase the autonomy of planetary exploration vehicles and therefore exploration efficiency.


Why is PRoViScout important for Europe?

Mars exploration promotes the European competencies in the exploration of difficult and hazardous terrain on Earth, using autonomous robotic platforms. For space science itself, the Project helps save resources of future European missions by maximizing their science return.

How does PRoViScout benefit European citizens?

PRoViScout will effectively increase the amount of data returned per Euro spent on European space missions thereby ensuring good value for European Taxpayers. The development of the core robotic technologies will help secure European jobs in this emerging market.

Rover trajectory

Video of rover trajectory during a field test (click image to download)


AU rover

 Rover at the Aberystwyth University PAT Lab


PRoViScout Participating Institutions


Further Links

JR rover JR rover   469.7 kB
AU rover AU rover   527.0 kB
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Gerhard Paar

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