RC Mars Rover built by sisters for New York Hall of Science exhibit
After watching a documentary about Mars rovers on TV, two North California sisters, Camille Beatty (13-years old) and Genevieve (11-years old) decided to make one by themselves taking help from their geeky father Robert Beatty. Their remote controlled replica of Mars rover Spirit is being exhibited at the New York Hall of Science (having 450 interactive exhibits) and is open for use by visitors, 8 hours a day for a week’s time. With a technological bent of mind, the two sisters have been tinkering with remote controlled stuff for quite some time making around 15 bots in their Asheville N.C. The visitors coming over at the Exhibit can drive the mars rover on simulated surface and search for infrared light emitting rocks using the rover’s infrared camera, sonar sensors, thermal array sensor and other inbuilt technology.
The main focus of building this Mars Rover is make kids aware about science, robot and space. According to the sisters they have also built a robotic arm for the rover but haven’t installed it on the rover as it will slow down the movement since it is going to be used by kids during the exhibit. Beatty’s bot also has rocker boogie suspension solar panels on-board to eat up sun’s energy to propel forward in case the on-board battery reserve runs out. The six-wheeled Mars Rover is made from 700 electrical components and has aluminum body for a robust frame that wouldn’t break even in extreme conditions.
Although this replica Mars Rover is a little smaller than the original Mars Rover Spirit, but still it is pretty close to the real thing as it has the same functionality and embedded technology. All-in-all it is going to be a good experience for the kids to drive this thing around the New York Hall of Science.
# Camille Beatty said
I started taking things apart: remotes, little remote-controlled cars, little clocks. It amazed me how it all fit together, and it made a loop, a circuit. I would ask my dad questions: ‘What does this red wire mean? What does this black wire mean? What happens if they touch?’ The more I asked questions, the more we got into it together.