In our twisted pop geek culture, it's not cutting-edge technology until it's been replicated with the most simplistic of child's toys. With that in mind, congrats are due to NASA's Curiosity rover, which has finally been reduced to a scale model made of Legos. Oh yea, the full-size rover also landed on Mars yesterday.
Doug Moran and Will Gorman used thousands of Lego Technic and Mindstorms bricks to create the model capable of turning 360 degrees and controlled via a special Mindstorms NXT joystick and a separate NXT Bluetooth interface for the arms and mast. In addition to the mounds of Lego bricks involved, there are also 13 LEGO NXT motors and two power function motors helping the project ambulate.
The duo originally presented the Curiosity model at the launch of the real deal at the Kennedy Space Center last year, but they've since improved the design with a more robust chassis and some other upgrades and brought it back for a "Build the Future" event over the weekend.
You can watch the mini Curiosity in action in the video below, and if you prefer to experience all your historic moments in Lego-vision, check out how the London Olympics have also received the plastic block treatment.