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09 May 2013 @ 07:53 pm
Lego Rovers around the World  
Over 30 teams worldwide decided to take on my Lego Rover challenge. Having poked around a bit on the Space Apps web site, I reckon that is a pretty good uptake, especially considering I had very little idea of what was expected or wanted from a challenge creator.

One thing I hadn't appreciated, which is a definite beneficial side effect of all this, was that by giving people a challenge to create something, rather than presenting them with some software to download, you give them real ownership of the outcome. I'm overwhelmed by the number of project teams who took on Lego Rovers who are now planning to take their own version of the system in schools in their country. There is absolutely no way, without the NASA Global Space Apps challenge, that my idea for a school-based activity would now be being used to inspire children as far afield as Mexico and Nepal.

I'm not going to talk about all the projects here since some of them have only provided very minimal information. But these are all the one's that have gone through to global judging. You can vote for any of them as "People's Choice" using twitter and a friendly green button on their project page.


The DisCoS team from Abu Dhabi have built a rather incredible distributed remote programming platform for multiple robots. It wasn't really what I asked for in the challenge description but it pretty neat.

Lego Space Explorers

The Lego Space Explorers team were one of the one's who put a lot of effort into keeping in touch with me during and after the hackathon. They have a fairly faithful reproduction of my original system, but one that works on mobile devices. They are hoping to port the whole system over to arduino based robots in the future though, since these are cheaper and easier to obtain in India.

This is the there official video, but I actually prefer the rather less polished video they produced during the event.

Cuilichi's Rover

I've not much to say about Culichi's Rover. It's an Arduino based solution from Culiacán in Mexico.


Another project from Mexico, MexiLEGO has a very pretty interface.

MexiLego Project from Eduardo S. on Vimeo.

Karkhana Rover

Karhana Rover has been built by a group from an organisation that was already working with children in Nepal. I love their video because it shows them actually demonstrating their system to groups of children.


The Paris team got in touch with me several days before the hackathon. They were definitely the group that was most engaged with my challenge description and the constraints on teachers and parents. NXTSpaceApps was the result. It requires one additional bit of kit (which I'm in the process of trying to purchase through work so I can try it out), but their intention was that no difficult installation would be needed as a result. They even got me to film an insert for their video!

LEGO Robot Space Path

Lego Robot Space Path chose to adapt the original challenge into one about route-finding and path following with Lego Robots. Their video is in Spanish but I am mostly struck by the youth of the team that produced this solution.

LEGO Rover Singapore

One of the details I've always glossed over with the Lego Rovers is the fact that communication does not go directly from Earth to an interplanetary rover but, instead goes via orbital stations. LEGO Rover Singapore chose to incorporate the satellite into their solution.

Claudia at London

This team doesn't seem to have a project page. But I am charmed by their use of a kinnect to incorporate gesture control in the robot.

Lego Context

Lego Context didn't go through to global judging, but I liked their YouTube video of a legged robot with obstacle avoidance behaviour.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/97334.html.
wellinghallwellinghall on May 9th, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a very good uptake. Well done, and good luck for the next stage!
louisedennislouisedennis on May 10th, 2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks! We're not doing well in the "People's Choice" voting, but there are other categories with judges, so we'll see how we do there!