Barnes: A Full-Scale Model ExoMars Rover for Space Education

The ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars rover is due to launch in 2022… but what will it look like? How tall is it? What will the instruments do? How will it search for life?

We are very proud to present Barnes, our full scale ExoMars rover model for outreach to help answer those questions!

Barnes outside the iconic Department of Physics building at Aberystwyth University.

Aberystwyth University is one of several UK institutions with involvement in the PanCam instrument on the ExoMars rover, part of a team led by UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory. After spending many outreach and public engagement events trying to answer these questions, a small team at Aberystwyth combined our work on the mission with our love of building robots for public engagement to create a full-scale model of the ExoMars rover especially for outreach events.

The Barnes development team, left to right: Helen Miles, Matt Gunn, Tomos Fearn, and Steve Fearn.

Barnes was unveiled to the public by Sue Horne, Head of Space Exploration for the UK Space Agency, and the Barnes development team during the Aberystwyth Robotics Week event “An Evening of Space Robotics”.

Barnes is named after the late Professor Dave Barnes, a pioneering space roboticist who worked at Aberystwyth University, leading our contributions to the Beagle 2 mission, and starting our work in the ExoMars mission in the mid noughties. We are hoping the model will continue to inspire people in the way that Dave inspired us.

You can follow Barnes’ adventures on Twitter: @BarnesRover