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News: LDraw tools used in Planetary Society's Mars Rover contest!

LDraw tools used in Planetary Society's Mars Rover contest!
By: Tim Courtney
February 26, 2003

The Planetary Society is putting out a call to build a better rover! LEGO rovers will be used in Planetary Society-hosted "Mars Station" exhibits around the world. These Stations will be designed to mimic environments on Mars as they appear to small, remotely operated rovers. While the actual Mars rovers are semi-autonomous, designed to intelligently negotiate their landscapes, the Mars Station rovers will be operated entirely by humans using a Web interface to see through a camera mounted on the rovers.

Since they want to be able to duplicate the entries for their own use, the contest calls for submissions to be made in LDraw format. This contest, organized by the Planetary Society, is the first known contest run by an outside organization that utilizes the fan community's array of freeware CAD tools. For inspiration, see the Rover Designs page.

Winners of the contest will receive some of the LEGO Company's new Discovery space sets! These include the LEGO Discovery Mars Exploration Rover and the LEGO Discovery Mission to Mars Set (7469).

For more details on the contest, and for official rules and submission guidelines, see The contest ends May 26, so get building!

The LEGO Group does not sponsor, endorse, or authorize the LDraw web site. LDraw is a completely unofficial, community run free CAD system which which uses independently developed representations of building bricks similar to LEGO elements.

Questions or comments on this article should be directed to Tim Courtney.


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In Memory of James Jessiman - 1971-1997