With the way things are in the world right now, there are people who want to get off this rock. The world’s most brilliant minds are likewise interested to explore life on other planets. We don’t know when that will become reality, but it’s not stopping companies like Astrolab from coming up with innovative ideas like the FLEX.

What space agency’s across the globe are vying for is eventually colonizing Mars. According to experts, our closest planetary neighbor could potentially support life. However, before we even think of sending people there, it’s crucial that we at least attempt to colonize something closer like the moon.

The FLEX is a cutting-edge machine designed for mobility and cargo transport. The lunar and Martian landscapes are full of uneven terrain, rocks, and steep climbs/descents. Moreover, gravity is also weaker on both. Thus, the vehicles we send over should be engineered to travel and function optimally in those environments.

Astrolab notes that the rover’s name stands for Flexible Logistics and Exploration. Even more exciting is the fact that a working model is already undergoing testing. As for the FLEX, it can accommodate up to two people and move around on articulating legs with robust wheels.

This allows the FLEX to adjust its ride height to overcome hazards or obstacles along its path. It can likewise haul cargo on the top deck or below via the proprietary payload interface system. An array of sensors allows semi-autonomous operation.

Stereo cameras attached to a motorized mast and a robotic articulating arm enable scientists to perform retrieval of samples and perform other delicate experiments. Maybe we can see the FLEX in action if the upcoming lunar mission chooses to take one along for the trip.

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Images courtesy of Astrolab