Bridget is a prototype a rover. Wait, let’s start with what a rover is?
A rover is a vehicle that conducts scientific investigations on the surface of planets in our solar system. So….. …Bridget is a prototype of a rover which was commissioned by Astrium Ltd in the UK to develop new interplanetary rover technology.
Bridget has been used to develop and test the locomotion, suspension and steering systems, but for these Field Trials is being used to provide a platform to test cameras and image processing software.
How did Bridget get her name?
Early in her life the engineers felt she needed a name to distinguish her from other rovers. The rover is a breadboard* or BB for short. Someone jokingly said ‘Why don’t we call her Bridget?’ after Brigitte Bardot, the seductive film star who was known as Bebe (BB). Everyone present laughed and passed on, but one newspaper interview and a full page spread headline later, a new star had been born. Since then she has traveled to many interesting destinations and met lots of interesting people.
Where did the term breadboard come from?
In the early days of electronics engineers literally used to build their prototypes on wooden breadboards using nails, wire, valves and solder.
The video below shows Bridget’s main features and basic vital statistics. For the Field Trials in Tenerife, Bridget has actually “put on weight”. With all the instruments and equipment she is carrying, she now weighs 220 kg rather than her previously svelte 150kg.