Design Evolution of the TeamIndus rover ECA
How our lunar rover went from being a bot to being human
ECA a.k.a. Ek Choti si Asha (Hindi for ‘A small hope’) is our lovable TeamIndus rover. ECA will fly on board our spacecraft to the Moon in 2020.
Here’s a picture of some of the earlier versions.
And here’s a picture of our final design.
Gorgeous, isn’t she? Let’s take a look at how our rover design has evolved over the years.
This is the first design of our rover ECA from 2013. We opted for Ackermann steering to avoid sideways slipping of tyres while turning.
ECA 2 boasted a better suspension system allowing it to not just move smoothly but also eliminate dust while at it. With a redesign to better accommodate the internal electronics and camera masthead, ECA was lighter too.
Adding front cameras for imaging tests and its mast holder made the rover look more human than ever before. ECA was alive for the first time.
ECA 4 saw the rover become lighter and her electronics were more compact. With a camera that went perfectly with the imaging strategy, ECA was almost ready. But there’s always room for improvement.
ECA 5 is the latest configuration complete in thermal, structural and operational aspects including a single point hold down mechanism with the lander. ECA is ready to drive on the moon.
We hope our series of sketches outlining the design evolution of ECA has given you an idea of how our team went about building the rover. Here’s a video where some of ECA’s creators talk about the challenges involved in building a lunar rover.