NASA’s ATHLETE or All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer concept, has been developed to explore the most hostile of environments, including Mars and the Moon.
The ATHLETE vehicle concept is based on six wheels at the ends of six multi-degree-of-freedom limbs.
It uses its wheels for efficient driving over stable, gently rolling terrain. Because each limb has enough degrees of freedom for use as a general-purpose leg, the wheels can be locked and used as feet to walk out of excessively soft, obstacle rich, or other extreme terrain.
ATHLETE is envisioned as a heavy-lift utility vehicle to support human exploration of the lunar or Martian surface, useful for unloading bulky cargo from stationary lander and transporting it long distances over varied terrain.