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Rocking a Planetary Rover With an iPod Touch

Rover with iPod Touch

Planetary rovers controlled by an iPod Touch will be displayed publicly for the first time at the MacTech conference on November 3rd in Los Angeles, it was announced today.

The rovers, with a payload of 40 pounds, are based on Mac Minis and can be steered by an iPod touch through the Web. “Whether you are technical or not, these rovers are just too cool for words,” said Neil Ticktin, editor of MacTech Magazine, fairly brimming with geeky excitement.

Here’s the obvious question here: If you’re NASA, or any outfit capable of sticking rovers on Mars or wherever, can’t you afford to make your own remote controls, rather than relying on DIY-style iPod hacks? We’ve put in a question to that effect to the wonderfully named Wolfgang Fink, the University of Arizona researcher who will be running the rover demo on the 3rd.

What exactly is MacTech? The magazine was founded in 1984 and bills itself as the “only monthly magazine focused on Apple at the technical level.” Aimed at IT pros, developers, and the like, unless you’re a tech or a programmer, neither the publication nor the $899 conference tickets are probably right for you.

[Image: Flickr user Proteus6; illustration: Andrew Hur]

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