Aaron Needs A Job exclusive: Aaron rides NASA’s MRV, the coolest drifting car of the future

Aaron Kaufman has the coolest gig on TV where he gets to tinker and try the latest in rides. Pic credit: Discovery
Aaron Kaufman has the coolest gig on TV where he gets to tinker and try the latest in rides. Pic credit: Discovery

Tonight on Discovery, Aaron Kaufman is about to get the ride of a lifetime in a vehicle that has such flexibility in steering radius and maneuverability, it is mind-boggling to watch in action.  The MRV, made by NASA, is a drifter’s dream come true.

Aaron is game and says: “Now I’m familiar with other inventions created for the space program that are now part of our lives like freeze-dried food memory foam and even the little camera that’s in your phone but to get a ride in a concept car of the future? Sign me up!”

Aaron heads to a special test research center and meets Justin Ridley, Robotics Engineer for NASA. Ridley introduced the coolest vehicle you have ever seen in action to Aaron, no stranger to cool rides himself.

Why is this vehicle so awesome?

Each wheel has its own motor and capability to move interdependently from the others and go sideways, angles and torque out like no car or vehicle can currently on the road. It makes parallel parking chores look like child’s play.

Aaron and Justin are simpatico on the coolness of this MRV. Justin says: “So this is MRV, this stands for modular robotic vehicle.”

Aaron jokes that he should call it “Merv.”

Justin plays along and agrees that some people do call it Merv, saying: “This is a concept car… we built this with an automotive company interested in learning some technologies that can maybe apply to vehicles here on Earth. Think of an urban environment that will
work for a two-seater vehicle like a smart car.”

Aaron chimes in and says: “Small footprint, easy to put it anywhere.”

Justin says” “You got it. I don’t even need to explain….There are motors above each of the wheels that control the steering so I got 180 degrees of each direction. There’s a big hub motor inside each and its fluid cools and each one’s controlled individually, so you can do you know do some torque vectoring and things like that you couldn’t do a traditional automobile….and it’s designed to go about 40 50 miles an hour. So what do you think?”

Aaron says heck yes, he wants to try it and stops Justin to note that there are no cup holders in this fancy, futuristic ride.

Justin explains the joystick’s effect on the traditional steering mechanism: “The steering wheel is like a thing of strength in a video game. Okay, I’ve got the wand drives so they can parallel park here to left… I bring the wheel and all the wheels rotate out of the left, you can see my directions not changing it out. I’ve got the joystick and I twist this and that gives me my yaw control… and I can combine those two things together to get here this drifting effect.”

Aaron jokes and says: “Did he say drifting? Now this is a vehicle concept I can really get behind!”

Later on, Aaron explores the various challenges of human survival with vehicles of the future and Aaron tests a vital and dangerous job: crop-dusting. And then Aaron visits a massive water-pumping plant to see how that works.

Tune in tonight to see Aaron get to ride these amazing vehicles of the future:

Aaron Needs A Job airs Mondays at 10/9c on Discovery.

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