Carnegie Mellon rovers let museum visitors explore Mars as NASA rovers land EurekAlert!

As NASA’s twin robot geologists Spirit and Opportunity prepare to land on Mars in January, a cadre of 20 smart robots developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University with support from NASA and Intel Corp. will be deployed at some of the nation’s most prestigious science museums to let visitors experience the thrill of exploring the red planet. The Personal Exploration Rovers (PERs) will reside in “Mars Yards,” specially designed to mimic Martian terrain at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.; its new Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport; the National Science Center in Augusta, Ga.; The San Francisco Exploratorium; and the new visitor’s center at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. The first exhibit will open at NASA Ames in late December. The others will follow between January 1 and January 24, 2004.