From Sojourner to the much bigger Curiosity, robotic rovers tend to come in all shapes and sizes. But few will go down as adorable as the European Space Agency’s new ExoMy rover. Better yet, this one you can make yourself with the help of a 3D printer.
ExoMy is a 42cm (about 16-inch) replica of the ESA’s Rosalind Franklin rover, which after missing its 2020 launch window, is now slated to make its way to the red planet in 2022. It comes with its bigger sister’s “triple-bogie” suspension system and you can customize the face portion, which holds the rover’s camera, with different hats — if the default option isn’t cute enough.
You can download everything you’ll need to make it work — including assembly instructions and software — through GitHub. The ESA estimates it will cost most people about €500 (close to $600) to purchase all the necessary materials and components to make ExoMy. It will also take around two weeks to 3D print everything. “We focused on making the design as affordable and accessible as possible. It uses a Raspberry Pi computer and off-the-shelf electronic parts available online and at any hobby shop,” the agency explains.
If $600 is outside your budget, you can see the ExoMy in action thanks to a video the ESA shared. The agency says it hopes university students will use the design as a way to learn about robotics and the ExoMars mission.