NASA has a mini-bot

NASA has a new Mars Rover that will be working in 2012. Called “Curiosity” the video shows that it is actually a deployed mini-bot. :eek:

NASA Video

We can hardly call Curiosity a mini-bot.

  1. How Big Is It?: The Mini Cooper-sized rover is much bigger than its rover predecessors, Spirit, Opportunity and Sojourner. Curiosity is twice as long (about 2.8 meters, or 9 feet) and four times as heavy as Spirit and Opportunity, which landed in 2004. Sojourner, about the size of a microwave oven, landed in 1997 as part of the Mars Pathfinder mission.

This quite a pile of metal. More information at the official site. It’s easy to see why NASA is interested in promoting robotics. I’m just now wondering how many FIRST alumni have had a hand in Curiosity’s gestation.

One of my graduates interned on the project. He compares it in size to a VW Bug. ****

  1. Rover Power: A nuclear battery will enable Curiosity to operate year-round and farther from the equator than would be possible with only solar power.

Cooooooooool!

For sure there are several FIRST mentors I know working on MSL. You might have seen them with blood-shot eyes and lacking a sense of humor at the regionals in California. The rover was going through a set of grueling environmental tests at the same time. Those tests are tough on the humans too!