Vintage Mars Rover Robot Kit

Vintage Mars Rover Robot Kit
Plan View

Here is a vintage 80s rover that came in a kit form. It was extremely popular at one time when home computers and robots were on the rise. Back in the 80s and 90s not a single magazine existed that did not have a photograph of a spotty-faced academic standing next to a four-wheeled vehicle that somehow qualified to be a robot. I had to look at countless photographs of mediocre “artificial intelligence” professors standing next to a robotic arm with a cheesy grin. These clumsy toys simply rolled along the ground at best, however the person standing next to it was always heralded a robotic genius with degrees and institutional lettering. What amazed me the most was how someone with so much academic recognition could achieve so little, and get so much praise…

This little three-wheeled rover takes an hour to build, and once installed with a fresh pair of batteries, it will capture your attention for at least 10 milliseconds. Its “brain” consists of an amplifier and a microphone for detecting sound. Upon detection of any sound, above the threshold noise the motor makes, it reverses the motor. It continues to move backwards and forwards in this way until either the batteries deplete, or you get tired of watching it.


Amplifier Brains
Back View
Gain Preset
Front View

Side View

This is a nice vintage toy that would be difficult to find today. I bought this one on eBay because I recognised seeing it in the 80s. All the screws and components are original from the kit. It is old with rust spots and has a lovely patina developing, making it very desirable. Its real value is around the five-pound mark.

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Vintage Mars Rover Robot Kit
Vintage Mars Rover Robot Motor Drive