Homofaciens planetary rover

Norbert “Homofaciens” Heinz is a long-time Friend of Pi (you may know him as That Guy with the Amazing Voice). His videos, available in both German and English, showcase some brilliantly imaginative engineering, and we’re always excited whenever a new one comes out. (You’ll see several featured on this blog.)

homofaciens robot

Homofaciens’ rover goes for a trundle

The Homofaciens website is intended to educate and enthuse people about technology and making. One of the ways you can engage with Norbert’s creations is via the Robospatium, a space in the roof of his house where he leaves a selection of web-enabled robots for people to control and explore via an interface on his website.

Norbert says:

The RoboSpatium is a place where you can operate my camera equipped robots. The name is derived from the words Robot (Slawic: “robota”, for “forcedlabor” or “socage”) and Spatium (Latin word for “space”). The spatium, thus the robot space is (most of the time) located above me and it is furnished with things I have treated at the column technology. Besides those things, there is some more stuff arranged there which can be observed live (well, with a few seconds delay) and colored with the help of my mechanical servants. It is some kind of playground for scientists, students or pupils – so have fun!

The RoboSpatium is successful, but limited in scope because it’s stuck in one room. So Norbert’s decided to broaden the project’s horizons – by sending one of his robots, still controllable via a web interface, on a world tour.

Here is an absolutely charming video from Norbert to tell you what the project (which he’s funding via Indiegogo) is all about:


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The rover will, if this all works out, be sent from location to location around the world, seeking out new life and civilisations and all that good stuff. We’ll be hosting it here at Pi Towers, so you’ll be able to drive it around and annoy Gordon by running over his feet.

You can support Homofaciens’ Indiegogo here – and if you’ve a little time to spare today, spend some time on his website, where you’ll find plenty to amuse and surprise.