ISLAMABAD                  -              NASA has created a new ‘mini’ Mars rover that will be able to climb hills even if they’re covered in sand and gravel - perfect for future exploration missions. Driven by the knowledge that the rolling hills of Mars are a long way from the nearest tow truck, Georgia Tech researchers created a more resilient ‘wiggling’ vehicle. Unlike the NASA Curiosity rover currently on Mars, or NASA Perseverance launching this summer, this ‘mini’ design can walk, paddle and wheelspin its way up a hill. The team created the mini vehicle based on the NASA Resource Prospector 15 (RP15) rover that can wiggle its wheels to enhance and test the design.

Professor Dan Goldman, from the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said the rover was built using 3D printed parts. Using a complex move the researchers dubbed ‘rear rotator pedaling’, the robot can climb a slope by using its unique design - it has wheeled appendages that can be remotely lifted - to combine paddling, walking, and wheel spinning motions.