Carnegie Mellon shows off "Scarab" lunar rover

It looks like the moon could soon become a relatively crowded place if even half of all these robots and rovers we keep hearing about actually get off the ground, the latest of which comes to us from Carnegie Mellon University. Dubbed the "Scarab," this four-wheeled bot is equipped with a Canadian-made drill capable of obtaining meter-long geological core samples, which its creators hope could turn up evidence of hydrogen, water or other recoverable resources. While it's appearance would suggest otherwise, the Scarab apparently won't be tearing up the lunar surface if and when it gets there, with it boasting a top speed of just four inches per second. On the upside, it will apparently be able to maneuver over rocky surfaces, and it can anchor itself to the ground to stay in place while drilling. While that would be enough for most folks to call it a day, it seems that project leader William "Red" Whittaker won't be resting on his lunar laurels, as he's also announced that he'll be assembling a team to compete for the Google Lunar X-Prize, which promises $20 million to anyone that can land a privately funded robot on the moon by 2012.

[Via The Raw Feed]