Types of Robots

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Sandworm, Side View

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What types of Robots will be used by lunar settlers?

A fully functioning lunar settlement will require a great many types of robots. Here are a few ideas.

This list is based on the mining settlement described in Harrison Schmitt's book, "Return to the Moon". It is also intended for use in developing robot characters in stories about lunar settlements.

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Specific Jobs for Robots

Most robots will have specific jobs:


All the great machines must be robots in themselves.

  • They are the big mining machines, called Sandworms
    • They harvest helium-3
    • They are huge
    • They are ugly
    • They have many moving parts
    • They crawl forward slowly processing regolith at the rate of tons per hours
  • One small sandworm digs trenches for new buildings
    • This was the first one built
    • It is 1/4 the size of the big ones
  • A small rover robot is permanently attends each Sandworm
  • Programmed to:
    • Not hurt a human
    • Harvest He-3
    • Keep itself in good repair

Construction and Production

  • Some robots are trucks with boom arms
  • Many may be cranes or other construction equipment
    • Can carry massive material, equipment, and a few people
  • Some fixed pieces of industrial equipment are robots too
    • These have many moving parts and may have arms

Sandbag Filler

It may be called "Sandbagger" after a type of Cold War spy.

  • It is a small external robot who can:
    • remove a bag from a dispenser
    • sift regolith to remove rocks
    • Fill the bag
    • Lift up the bag to settle the sand to the bottom
    • Seal the top
    • Transport the full bag
    • Stack the full bag
  • Programmed to:
    • Fill the bag with sand

Check out http://www.ensorequipment.com for a currently existing fully automated sandbag filling machine.

Stone Mason

See Architecture in Field Stone.

  • It is a car sized external robot who can:
    • Locate building stones in the regolith
    • Pick up stones
    • Move stones
    • Mix and dispense lunar mortar
    • Place stones in wall
  • Programmed to:
    • Build walls


  • Some small robots move around the interiors
    • Controlling dust
    • Disinfecting
  • You can pick up your own socks!

Air Lock Attendant

  • Some robots are stationed at (or are built into) the air lock doors
    • Provide security
    • Dust control by sweeping and inspection


  • Some robots tend to or are science instruments
  • One robot tends the amateur astronomy equipment
    • Is allowed to be operated by students

Safety Buddy

  • Accompany people when outside
    • No one ever goes outside completely alone
  • In case of an accident
    • Calls for help
    • May be able to physically help
    • Provides images
    • Carries spare air
  • Required full time for:
    • Tourists
    • Retirees

Surgical Assistance

  • Allows doctors on Earth to treat people on the Moon
  • Assists Chief Medical Officer (Doc)
  • Can do micro-surgery

Personal Avatar

  • It is the virtual person in your computer system who tries to help you
  • Is who you talk too

TV Reporter

  • Allows television interview of people on the Moon by Earth side reports
  • Has a camera, microphone on an arm, and a monitor screen for the interviewee to look at
  • Can communicate back to Earth without pre-approval of Company or government

Not all the characters on the Moon will be mechanical. See People on the Moon.

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