Mars Rover

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

We have exciting news to share. A short time ago the New York Hall of Science contacted us. They have a large and beautiful Mars exhibit, but their existing robot is outdated and needs to be replaced. After some discussion about their requirements, we agreed to build them a new fully-functional Mars Rover robot for their exhibit. You may have noticed that we’ve been chronicling our work on the new rover in our Workshop Blog for the last several weeks. We have done most of the metal machining, mechanical assembly, electrical soldering, electronics wiring, and other work on the project. They will also be part of the on-site testing and installation in New York. Update: We installed the Mars Rover at the New York Hall of Science on June 8, 2013. It has been a great success so far. It has become the science center’s most popular exhibit.

The Mars Rover is constructed of over 700 electrical components, aluminum parts, and other pieces that we purchase, make by hand, and/or machine on our homemade CNC Mill. In addition to the NASA-style six-wheeled rocker-bogie suspension system and the solar panels, the new Mars Rover is equipped with an infrared camera, a thermal array sensor, eight sonar sensors, and other technology. Using special control software that we will provide, kids and other visitors to the center will drive the Mars Rover remotely through the exhibit’s Mars-scape on a mission to find infrared-emitting rocks that may provide evidence of past life on Mars.

With over 450 interactive exhibits, the New York Hall of Science is the largest collection of hands-on science and technology exhibits in the New York City area, and rated as one of the best science centers in the country. They are actively involved in pioneering the Design/Make/Play revolution. Built initially as a pavilion for the 1964 World’s Fair, the New York Hall of Science is not only the region’s premier science museum, it hosts the world-renown New York Maker Faire each fall. We are honored to be working with the NYSCI and we’ve been having great fun (and many hours of hard work) building what we hope will be an excellent robot for them.

Here are the girls with the partially completed Mars Rover.





Mars Rover - Side View


Mars Rover - Rear View


Our new Mars Rover Arduino Shield

Soldering the Mars Rover Shield

Mars Rover – Adding the Targeting Laser and Thermal Array Sensor

Mars Rover – Mast and Solar Panels

Continued work on the Mars Rover

Mars Rover – Infrared Detection

Making progress on the Mars Rover

Mars Rover – Electronics

Major milestones reached on the Mars Rover

Using CNC to machine the electronics plate for Mars Rover

Cutting metal for the Mars Rover 2

A Counter-rotating Differential


Spirit II Mars Rover

Spirit II – Mars Rover: INSIDE VIEW

Solar Power System

Differential for Mars Rover

Comments (24)

  1. Roel
    April 10th, 2013

    Congratulations, girls! Excellent job!

  2. Melissa
    April 12th, 2013


  3. Geralyn
    April 12th, 2013

    This is so impressive. Great work!

  4. Camille Beatty
    April 12th, 2013

    Thanks for the encouraging comments! 🙂

  5. Brett
    April 18th, 2013

    Incredible work with the Rover!!

  6. Benjamin and Dad
    May 1st, 2013

    We love your Mars Rover! We would like to do similar stuff, congratulations from Chile!

  7. Machine27
    May 27th, 2013

    Amazing work!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Machine27
    June 1st, 2013

    I’ve been studying your pictures and trying to figure out which servos you used. Would you mind telling me?
    Any chance of you posting a parts list for those of us who would like to dupicate what you’ve built?
    Again, Awesome work!

  9. Renat
    June 25th, 2013

    It’s a nice robot, I’m impressed 🙂

  10. Davide Coppola
    July 25th, 2013

    Your project has been featured in the article: “20 Arduino projects of 2013”

  11. Camille Beatty
    July 25th, 2013

    Cool. Thanks for letting us know.

  12. Mike
    August 2nd, 2013

    Congratulations on your accomplishments ladies! You have a great future ahead of you. 🙂

  13. Fahd Shakir
    August 6th, 2013

    Fantastic work. I am incredibly jealous, as I imagine pretty much everybody is. Really great to see.

  14. Chris
    August 9th, 2013

    Awesome job, I have wanted to build a rover for a while and this has encouraged me to give it a try… Wonder if my girls will be as interested in working on it as yours…

    Look forward to seeing what else you produce, may be one day one could travel beyond the Earth.

  15. joedart
    August 9th, 2013

    I have been experimenting with a robot arm that can be operated by anyone over the web. I believe the notion of operating real-world robots online has a big future in both education and recreation. One of the first things that came to mind was the mars lander that would allow students to simulate exploration experiments using a physically real rover that would carry out their projects and would be visible (after an appropriate communication delay) online. Is this of any interest to you?

  16. Camille Law
    December 2nd, 2013

    I just saw your Mars rover well done that is Fantastic !!!!!!!!!!!!

    best wishes from Scotland


  17. isokar
    January 30th, 2014

    Hi there,
    very nice work
    i was wondering was you were using the green laser in the front?
    is this an obstacle detection system?


  18. admin
    January 30th, 2014

    Isokar: Thank you. That is indeed a green laser. Its primary purpose is to visibly show where the thermopile array sensor is pointed. The sensor senses 8 temperatures out in front of the rover. The direction and width of the laser light (which we mounted with a 38-degree line generating lens on it) shows exactly where it’s pointed and what temperatures it’s getting (which rocks in the exhibit, etc.). We set it up this way because without it we were having difficulty knowing what temperatures the sensor was reading. We turn the laser on whenever the rover moves and collects data.

  19. Al B
    March 29th, 2014

    Nice work and thank you for sharing! Your work inspired my kids to build something similar. However, time and budget was a constraint so we had to scale down. Here is the preliminary result:

    Thanks again, and best regards!

  20. Camille
    March 29th, 2014

    Al and kids: I love your robot! Excellent work! I love the behavior of your robot, how it chases the ball and goes around obstacles. Very cool. 🙂

  21. ruthwik
    May 15th, 2015

    i have an exhibition based on space and space exploration in ma skool so i actually wished to make a mars rover. i am not getting how to do it so could u help me out. i just need to know what all materials u used and how to make it pls pls pls pls pls help me

  22. Ian
    July 3rd, 2015

    Hey girls
    How much did this rover weigh?

  23. Ken
    February 7th, 2016

    Fantastic work for a great project! Beatty Robotics is a inspiration because I am a STEM specialist at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver and run Lego EV3/NXT, Vex robotics, and FRC robotics based programs. It helps the kids to see successful advanced robotics projects!

  24. Doug V
    June 15th, 2017

    Very good. Would you happen to have a set of Blueprints that I can look at?
    I’m looking into building one for use in the home as a domestic platform and just might work.
    By the way, you two are awesome.
    Keep up the good work.

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