When Curiosity, the NASA Mars rover, took core samples during its historic 2012 mission, its robotic arm relied on two sensors developed by two Lawrence Technological University engineering graduates, brothers Javad Mokhbery and Mohammed Mokhberi, the founders of FUTEK Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc. of Irvine, CA.
FUTEK designed two unique sensors to operate in the frigid temperatures on Mars. A multi-axial load and torsion sensor monitors the Rover’s drilling arm and its robotic maneuvers as it retrieves sediments for analysis. A secondary load cell supervises the precision and force used to drill directly into the Martian surface.
FUTEK makes sensors for the aerospace, medical, robotic/automation, and automotive industries. The company develops load cells, torque sensors, pressure sensors, multi-axial sensors, and related software for low-temperature and vacuum environments. Raytheon, MIT, Lockheed Martin, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have all partnered with FUTEK.