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Last Updated: Friday August 15 2008 14:38 GMT

Mars robots put to the test

Bradley and Bruno. Pics: L: MDA, R: Oerlikon

Two new robots are being put through their paces to see if they're up to the job of being blasted into space to find out if there really is life on Mars.

Nicknamed Bruno and Bradley, the robots are the latest test models for a European rover that's expected to land on the red planet in seven year's time.

Engineers say the six-wheeled robots created for the ExoMars mission are the toughest ever built.

It's thought they'll be able to go where no other rover has gone before.

Check out an artists's impression of the finished rover

Each robot can turn all six wheels, move sideways like a crab and even tackle really steep or slippery slopes.

They do it by anchoring themselves with five of their wheels and then inching each wheel forward one at a time to crawl over obstacles.