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The U.S. State Department calls Lego's Italian "genius" to build a rover on Mars

The U.S. State Department calls Lego’s Italian “genius” to build a rover on Mars

How was the project born?

The US State Department contacted me to build NASA’s Perseverance Rover on a 1: 2 scale, with the intention of paying tribute to Kamal Otri, NASA Team Leader and Project Leader for the Moroccan look of the Perseverance Rover. This year, in fact, marks the 200th anniversary of the opening of the first US diplomatic mission in Morocco. A relationship that began at the “Off Voice & Stone” exhibition in Rabat in June and then moved to Casablanca and finally to Washington, sealed by various endeavors. The protagonist of the exhibition will be diligently in Lego.

What was your reaction when you received the call?

It was an incredible feeling. Although my staff and I have worked with many large Italian groups and beyond, this is definitely one of the most important and rewarding projects of my entire life. A dream that will come true.

Was the rover difficult to build? So which is the hard part?

Yes, it was a good challenge. Suffice it to say that it is 90% freehand. It took 400 hours of work to build, with four and 110,000 brick workers. During design, a discussion with the NASA scientist responsible for the mission is also important. As for the hard part, it was definitely backwards: energy accumulation. A machine with blades, also placed in an inclined position with respect to the horizontal axis of the rover. On a technical level, I am satisfied with the feel: very similar to our Rover 3D model.

Did you and your staff use 3D images to create it?

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Yes, 3D images of the rover perseverance posted on the NASA website.

Do you already have other projects planned?

We are now working on some projects in Italy, though not on an equal footing.

After being noticed at an exhibition by a Lego Danish executive in Lego, he first became the only Lego bricklayer in Italy from the gardener and then the first and only “Italian Lego certified professional” (self-taught among others). Its secret?

Curiosity about Legos has been a part of my life since childhood. And consistency. For me everything is made possible by bricks.

Like always playing?

(Ride, Ed). It can be said that this is a very serious game. When work is done with enthusiasm, it never works.