Gear | August 29, 2017 9:00 am

Turtle the Land Drone Is a Mini Mars Rover for Earthbound Use

It's your personal sentry for making sure the coast is clear

We’re up to our ears in flying, camera-wielding drones.

But whence the handy, locomotive photo assistant for our closer-to-the-ground adventures?

Meet the Turtle Rover. Created by a crew at Poland’s Wroclaw University of Technology, the Turtle is your new four-wheeled adventure buddy.

Turtle (6 images)

Just launched on Kickstarter and designed by the same tech team that designed actual Mars prototypes, it sports a waterproof aluminum frame fitted with an HD camera, Raspberry Pi micro-controller and four individually-suspended, rough-terrain-capable wheels, each powered by an individual motor. And to top things off, the Turtle has a nifty robot-grappling arm that can lift up to 11 pounds. Cherry on top: the Turtle’s open-source plans mean it could easily be fitted with numerous other cool bells and whistles, like lights or a GoPro.

In terms of range, the Turtle’s lithium-ion battery takes one two-hour charge to run for approximately four hours. And the whole rig is run via a proprietary app that can pair with the device from up to 656 feet away.

On preorder now for an upfront commitment of $1,826, the Turtle is set for June delivery. Once the crowdfunding project end, that price tag will bump up to $2,357.

For nature photographers, this tough little guy seems like a no-brainer. It’s like having a brave(r) friend to send into the cave first to make sure the coast is clear.