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Lego is going all Mars-Curious

I’m so confident the question on your lips after reading this will be, “why didn’t they release this before Christmas?” that I’m opening the article with it. That’s right, Lego, the makers of real-world Minecraft blocks, has announced plans to launch a 1:20 scale lego model of the Mars Curiosity rover, complete with an articulated robotic arm, multiple cameras, six-wheel rocker suspension and even some obstacles to manoeuvre over and around.

As Wired points out, this is coming out of Lego’s Cuusoo program, which lets people submit their own ideas for lego projects, which others can then vote on. If a project receives 10,000 votes, it enters consideration for actual production. That’s exactly what happened with the Curiosity Rover, submitted by mechanical engineer Stephen Pakbaz, who helped build the real version of the Mars explorer.

marsrover
Pakbaz with the first lego Rover

According to his breakdown on the Lego blog, Mr Pakbaz wanted to create a kit that wasn’t just an homage to the car sized Rover, but something that children (and more than likely a few adults) can build and use in the same fashion as the real version.

“Above all, the LEGO Curiosity model is not just a display piece,” he explained. “It has a functioning rocker-bogie suspension system and fully articulated robotic arm. It can be used to explore the unknown regions of your house or office. After climbing the outer walls of Carpet Crater and descending into Couch Canyon you will finally be able to determine if your living room was ever capable of supporting microbial life!”

The little lego rover is set for release on the 1st January 2014 and will cost $30.

KitGuru Says: I haven’t been a big lego guy since I was a kid. It’s all about wargaming models these days. But what about you guys? Anyone thinking they might grab one of these? 

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