Grover the rover undergoes testing in Greenland

NASA’s new polar rover has demonstrated that it can operate completely autonomously in one of Earth’s harshest environments.

Designed by students in 2010 and 2011, the robot – dubbed GROVER (Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research) – was recently put through its paces over five weeks in Greenland.

By the end of tests GROVER was working reliably enough for Dr. Hans-Peter Marshall of Boise State University to control the robot via satellite link from Idaho.

Built to carry a ground-penetrating radar to analyze layers of snow and ice, the rover was later transferred to Boise State University for fine-tuning with NASA funding.