A researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, Daniel Shafrir, and his team want to do something incredible: they want to send a rover to the moon and then let us, the Earthlings, control it and look out of its stereoscopic cameras as it tumbles around that barren alien rock. The researchers are working to win a $30 million prize from Google to beam video back from the moon.
The team, called Astrobotic Technology, has to complete the Google Lunar XPrize, a mission to land a robot on the moon and send live video back to earth while moving it at least 1,600 feet. As you can imagine, this is harder than it sounds, given they have to help the robot escape earth’s orbit.
Shafrir, game designer Ben Boesel, and astronomer Dan Arnett are working together to connect the robot to an Oculus Rift which, in turn, would control the robot. The team said that they hope to let children around the world see what “only 12 other people” have seen on Earth. To pull this off they will build their own lunar lander and fire their little robot, nicknamed Andy after Andrew Carnegie, into the stratosphere.