“It really started out just kind of as this idea. We’d really like to have a Mars rover,” said Kirsten Hibbard, Challenger Learning Center executive director. A great idea from Hibbard at the Challenger Learning Center in Bangor.
The University of Maine Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Technology Team said, “challenge accepted.” The team even gave them a tutorial.
“It’s one of the only working prototypes of the scale model that’s 3D printed. Being 3D printed is really easy for the Challenger Center. They have all the files and models they need to reproduce parts really cheaply. They have their own 3D printers so if students were running into a wall or stuck on it, they could reproduce the parts pretty quickly and cost effectively so that there’s minimal downtime with that,” said Berube. “It’s got an integrated first-person view camera which is pretty unique which was donated and funded by the Maine Space Grant Consortium, they gave us the funds to be able to put this in and it allows up to two students to operate the rover. One can be actually controlling it from the iPad and the other can be navigating through the integrated screen that is included,” said Berube.
The team made this their Capstone Project, and over the last year, they developed it from scratch, then 3-D printed the rover. “So, it’s a one eighth scale model of the Perseverance Mars rover, which is the rover that just landed on Mars,” said Peter Berube, one to the UMaine students on the project.
“Now we have this finished product that the Challenger Center gets to have this tool to teach students. It is just amazing,” said Hibbard. Now, students of all ages will be able to get their hands on this space traveler.
Source If you’d like information on the Challenger Learning Center’s upcoming camps where the rover will be used, head to their website, astronaut.org. Copyright 2021 WABI. All rights reserved.
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