As promised here is some more info on one of our subsystems, used to collect the sand sample we’re going to be looking for once inside the crater.
The robot arm is a 5 degree of freedom manipulator provided by Mobile Robots as a Pioneer 3 accessory. As standard it is equiped with a two-finger gripper, however we have modified this to carry a scoop/storage container tool.
This over-sized scoop is placed in position by the arm. Once collected the sample will remain safely in the container as we return the rover to the lander, where it can be detatched and deposited.