Rover

  • Members of the public can now sign up to have their name accompany NASA’s much anticipated Mars 2020 rover as it unravels the secrets of the Red Planet. The names will not be stored digitally within a chip, but instead etched upon one by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
  • ​​A huge moment of truth for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover will be the so-called “seven minutes of terror,” the period between entry into the atmosphere and touchdown on the surface of Mars. Mission scientists have now begun prepping for this with a round of simulations here on home soil. ​
  • Last month, NASA declared that the Opportunity mission had come to an end, after the rover succumbed to a dust storm. Now, the final images have been sent back, including a 360-degree panorama of the area around what became its final resting place – a region ironically known as Perseverance Valley.
  • ​A panel of experts has chosen Rosalind Franklin as the name for the European Space Agency’s (ESA)’s upcoming Mars rover. The vehicle is currently expected to begin exploring the Red Planet in 2021.
  • Three autonomous Mars rovers have been put through their paces in the Sahara Desert. Overlooked by over 40 engineers, this robot jamboree was designed to test automated navigation and other space robotics technologies.
  • ​We’ve seen quite a few interesting robot designs over the years that allow adventurous machines to negotiate difficult terrain, but few with the distinct style of the Velox robot from New York engineering firm Pliant Energy Systems.
  • Autonomous robots have made their way to the factory floor and busy warehouse, and are even greeting customers at some hotels. But few are out in the wild. And it's the wild that's the source of inspiration for a new breed of bots that can build structures to overcome obstacles.​
  • The Japanese prospecting spacecraft Hayabusa 2 has captured the most detailed images to date of its target – the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu. Once at the asteroid, Hayabusa 2 will deploy a lander and three small rovers, before obtaining surface samples for return, and creating an artificial crater.
  • Conducting scientific research in the ocean's surf zone can be challenging, as conventional watercraft get tossed all over the place. Well, what about using a remote-control tracked vehicle that crawls along the bottom? That's just what the Surf Rover is planned to be.
  • ​​If you've ever wanted to own a Mars rover, this is likely the closest you're going to come. Created by a team from Poland's Wroclaw University of Technology, which has designed actual Mars rover prototypes, the Turtle Rover is … well, it's an Earth rover.
  • As of August 5, 2017, NASA’s Curiosity rover will have been cruising the landscape of Mars for five years. We celebrate this milestone with a look back through some of the most spectacular images the rover has captured while roaming the Red Planet.
  • ​​NASA already has robots exploring the surface of Mars, but there are plenty of places these roaming science laboratories cannot go. One day a pint-sized rover may help fill in the blanks, with the space agency developing a flat-packed, shape-shifting two-wheeler that can handle rough terrain.