Meet Bridget‎ > ‎

How Bridget Works

Bridget is powered by four golf-cart batteries situated in the Power and Control Module. The Power and Control Module distributes the power to the locomotion system and the instruments.
Bridget has three suspension bogies (one on each side and one at the rear) to make sure that all six wheels are in contact with the ground, providing maximum grip or traction. Her six solid aluminium wheels have stainless steel treads called grousers, that bite into the surface.  The chassis and frame are also made from aluminium which is light and strong.
Bridget has six wheel drive (6WD) and the four corner wheels provide steering.  She can steer like a normal car but can also turn on the spot, namely do point-turns. Inside the wheel hubs, there are electric motors and gearboxes. Motor car gearboxes typically have ratios of around 4 or 5 to 1. Each of Bridget's 6 gearboxes (one in each wheel) have a ratio of 1800 to 1!  This gives her lots of torque which means she can pull TV presenters like Nick Crane from BBC's Coast programme along the sand with little effort (see broadcast July 2011).  However, top speed is limited to around 150 metres  per hour!
The PanCam, Hypercam and Omni-view cameras (see Hi-tech Cameras) are mounted on  the Pan & Tilt mechanism which allows them to look 360 degrees around the rover and to tilt so they are able to see the ground at different angles, especially the area in front of Bridget.  Other payloads such as an Ultrasonic Drill, Sample Scoop and a Speckle Odometer (contactless speed sensor) can also be fitted to the Payload area at the front of the Rover as and when needed.

Though five years old, Bridget has covered a number of kilometres over many different types of terrain, from volcanic sands and rocks to those found on beaches, in quarries and in Mars Yards.  Her one weak spot is that she isn't water proof...but then it doesn't rain in places like Mars or on the Moon.