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MoonBots Challenge Lets Kids Simulate Lunar X Prize Landing—With Lego

Illustration for article titled MoonBots Challenge Lets Kids Simulate Lunar X Prize Landing—With Lego

A program called MoonBots will allow children to simulate the conditions of Google's $30 million Lunar X Prize—get rover to the moon, snap HD pics, kick ass—but turns up the quirkiness (and the cool factor) by incorporating Lego.

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Now, these inventions—all powered by the Mindstorms robotics kit—won't actually see the barren lunar landscape up close, like their Lunar X Prize cousins. They will however see simulated terrain, and will be asked to complete similar tasks.

One task, demonstrated by Giz reader Tim, involves autonomously navigating the "Lunar surface" without bumping into moon rocks, secret aliens, or Apollo mission film sets. In Tim and his kids' case, the "Moon" is a covered pool:

Aside from the fact that that poor little guy was probably wetting himself over being a mere inch from certain doom beneath the cover, he did pretty well. But, Tim, can you and your kid send that sucker to the moon? [YouTube, MoonBots]

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DISCUSSION

GitEmSteveDave.com

So given the extremes of environment and radiation, how long would Legos survive on the surface of da moon?