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Success Stories

Boldly go: Clearpath Robotics journeys to the moon

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has recruited the help of MDA Ltd. and Clearpath Robotics to develop Canada's first lunar rover.

November 30, 2021

Approximately 4.6 billion years ago, the moon and the Earth were formed. Unlike the Earth, the moon has stayed relatively the same since its development, untouched by plate tectonics. By studying the moon, we unlock the history of our own planet, as well as our entire Solar System.

On Wednesday May 26, 2021, Canada announced its mission to launch a robotic lunar rover in 2026. The goal of the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP), is to gather imagery and measurements from the dark side of the moon and the lunar poles - something that has never been done before.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has recruited the help of MDA to develop the initial design study. MDA is a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly-expanding global space industry.

LEAP provides an opportunity to showcase Canadian companies and technologies on a global scale. To assist in the development of the rover, MDA has formed a team of world-leading, Canadian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and industry experts, including AC Alumni Clearpath Robotics.

‍Clearpath Robotics helps to accelerate the research and development of robotics products and solutions. MDA recruited Clearpath Robotics to help jumpstart the project quickly and efficiently, by using its early testing platform. While the lunar rover is under construction, the software team can utilize the test platform to develop the accompanying software that will be used to drive the robot around autonomously from Earth.

“The problem we often encounter is until the hardware is complete, the software team can’t begin their work,” said Bryan Webb, President of Clearpath Robotics. “Developers can actually program and practice driving the test robot until the lunar rover is complete.”

By utilizing Clearpath Robotics’ test platform, MDA will shave years off of the project allowing it to meet the 2026 launch date. Once the lunar rover is completed, the accompanying software can be seamlessly integrated with the new prototype, rather than waiting for its completion to begin the software development.

“We’re very proud and humbled to be working on such an exciting project, not only for our team, but for our country,” said Bryan Webb. “We look forward to playing a role in what will be a historic project for Canada. We are very fortunate to have a hand in this mission.”

About Clearpath Robotics

Clearpath Robotics is a global leader in unmanned vehicle robotics for research and development and provides hardware, software, and services to enable self-driving vehicle development, deployment, and operation. Clearpath works with over 500 of the world’s most innovative brands in over 40 countries, serving markets that span industrial materials handling, mining, military, agriculture, aerospace, and academia. Clearpath is an award-winning company with recent awards, including Robotics Business Review Top 50 CompanyEdison Award for Innovation, Business Insider Top 40 under 40, and Canada’s Top 100 Employers. Visit Clearpath Robotics at www.clearpathrobotics.com.

About MDA

Serving the world from its Canadian home and global offices, MDA (TSX:MDA) is an international space mission partner and a robotics, satellite systems and geointelligence pioneer with a 50-year story of firsts on and above the Earth. With over 2,000 employees across Canada, the US and the UK, MDA is leading the charge towards viable Moon colonies, enhanced Earth observation, communication in a hyper-connected world, and more. With a track record of making space ambitions come true, MDA enables highly skilled people to continually push boundaries, tackle big challenges, and imagine solutions that inspire and endure to change the world for the better, on the ground and in the stars.