Beautiful image taken by Mars Opportunity rover

Mars rover image
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State University

Still running 8 years after landing on Mars, the Opportunity rover took this image of the Endeavour Crater. Click here for a larger version.

The Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Expert Systems topics is one of my favourite on the ITGS syllabus. In addition to looking at more practical, every day examples of robotics we also examine exploration robots. This also ties in nicely with the Environment topic in Strand 2 of the ITGS triangle.

Since the above image was posted by NASA, Mars has seen the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) in 2012. This rover is still going strong as of February 2017 and I always find it makes an interesting example for ITGS students. There are also many lesson resources online: infographics about how Curiosity works, its sensor hardware, and a very useful page from NASA. I have also put lesson ideas and revision questions online, and even ran a Curiosity inspired Lego Mindstorms competition for younger students.

Hopefully these resources will keep ITGS students interested until the next Mars mission in 2020

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