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Test drive the Asimov lunar rover by backing the Part-Time Scientist's Kickstarter project

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The Part-Time Scientists have started a Kickstarter project called the Remote Rover Experiment in hopes of funding their rovers' lunar-like test site.


Unlike other space-bound Kickstarter projects, the Part-Time Scientists and their Remote Rover Experiment (RRE) aren't seeking to build an end-product using crowd-sourced funding, but rather to design and build a testing ground for their prototype Asimov rover. The team has 22 days left to raise $100,000 so that they can secure a 200-square meter open area where their Asimov lunar rover will be pitted against as many of the Moon's harsh conditions as the team can emulate.

Donors that contribute $15 or more will receive an RRE Voucher, which will guarantee an opportunity to test drive the Asimov remotely on the test-site once it's built. The project's $500 tier is perhaps even more interesting — the team will send you a fully functioning prototype Asimov rover kit that you can build yourself. For those less DIY inclined, a $7,500 donation will gain you a pre-assembled rover, which will be similar to the final space-bound unit but with cheaper, more test-friendly parts. The rovers that will be sent out to donors can be controlled and piloted using the open-source Android Remote App, making them far more user-friendly than the final, long range units.

The Part-Time Scientists are a group of 100 engineers and developers who are aiming to win Google's Lunar X Prize — a $30 million competition to soft-land a privately-funded rover on the moon by December 31st 2015. Before the final Asimov rover can be taken to space, however, each and every part of the design needs to be tested, and the team hopes you're willing give them a hand doing just that.