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The US State Department invites an Italian "genius" LEGO to build the Mars Rover

The US State Department invites an Italian “genius” LEGO to build the Mars Rover

How was the project born?

The US State Department contacted me to build a NASA 2: 1 Rover Rover to honor Kamal Ouardri, a NASA team leader and project leader with Moroccan origins, for the Perseverance Roving Car. In fact, this year marks the bicentennial of the opening of the first American diplomatic mission in Morocco. The relationship has been strengthened through various initiatives, starting with the exhibition “The Sound and Stone” that will be held in June in Rabat, then the move to Casablanca and finally to Washington. The protagonist of the show will be Lego’s Persevering Rover.

What was your reaction when you got the call?

It was an incredible emotion. Although I and my staff have worked with many large Italian and international groups, this has definitely been one of the most important and most rewarding projects in my entire career. A dream come true.

Was it difficult to build the rover? And if so, what was the hardest part?

Yes, it was a good challenge. Suffice it to say that it is 90% handcrafted. It took 400 hours to build, and it had a crew of 4,110,000 bricks. During the design, discussion with the NASA scientist in charge of the mission was also important. As for the hardest part, it’s definitely the back: the power complex. Blade motor, tilted to the horizontal axis of the rover. On a technical level, I am satisfied with the perception: Our rover is very similar to the 3D model.

Have you and your employees used 3D images to do this?

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Yes, the 3D images of Rover Perseverance have been posted on NASA’s website.

Do you already have other projects planned?

We are currently working on some projects here in Italy, albeit not of the same size.

After being noticed at an exhibition in Lecce by a Lego Denmark executive, she became a gardener, the first Lego brick artist in Italy and then the first and only “Italian Lego Certified Professional” (among other self-taught things). It’s a secret?

Passion for Legos, which has been a part of my life since childhood. And consistency. For me, anything is possible with bricks.

Is it always like playing?

(Riding, Ed). Suppose it is a very dangerous game. When work is done with passion, it almost never works.