Blog

Challenger Rover

Friday, August 19th, 2016

We have built a sturdy but compact 6-wheel-drive (6WD) rover for museum exhibits with limited space. In this video, we are testing its various steering methods (strafing, rotation, 2WS, differential, etc.). The main plate of this robot is a custom part that we machined. The servos, motors, motor mounts, servo blocks, camera turret, and many of the other components are from Actobotics. The brain of the robot is an Arduino Mega. It is also equipped with on-board sound/speaker, four Maxbotix obstacle sensors, a color sensor (at the front), and Neopixel RGB LED light strips. The turret holds a Hero 4 GoPro camera (in a custom case we machined), which transmits live HD video over a Connex video transmitter to a First-Person-View (FPV) Headset. The 7.4V LIPO battery is mounted under the main plate. The Remote Control (which is an Arduino-based device we created) communicates with the robot via xbee radios. We have designed this robot to support rubber tread wheels and metal wheels.

6WD Rover Robot

Posts on the construction of this robot:

Building a new rover

Custom-machined Main Plate for our newest rover

Machining a Wheel Hub

Using the SOMO-II MP3 Module with Arduino

Machining a Custom Case for GoPro Camera

Hacking a GoPro for Wired Remote Control

Rover Challenge – Work-in-Progress

Comments (8)

  1. Anthony
    September 9th, 2016

    Wow, wow and wow!

    Hi all,
    I have been interested in building my own 4WD or 6WD Rover for some time now. I plan to use a rock crawler as donor for the frame for the 4WD and go from there. And later on build a 6WD, to use as a autonomous vehicle to patrol the garden, etc.

    I do have a question: did you program the different types of steering modes (strafe, rotation, etc) yourself or is it part of an open source program?

    Keep up the excellent work all of you 🙂

    Kind regards,

    Anthony

  2. Camille
    September 16th, 2016

    Thank you, Anthony. Yes, we programmed the different types of steering modes ourselves.

  3. Michael Smorto
    November 1st, 2016

    Absolutely fantastic build as all your projects seem to be. Been checking on your projects on and off for a while.

    Working on a couple of mine own vehicles. Recognize most of the parts from ServoCity, built a robot arm completely from ServoCity parts a while ago. Was wondering if you can tell me what servos you are using and what motors you used for the project. Are you using ones with quad encoders – just starting to get into odometry myself.

    Thanks
    Mike

  4. Michael Smorto
    November 2nd, 2016

    Great build as all your builds are. You are very talented. Been checking your site on and off for a while. Can you share what servos and what motors you are using. Built a couple rovers myself that does obst avoid, rc controlled and waypoint nav all in one. Are you using odometry with the rover – did not notice any encoder wires coming out of the motors.

    Thanks
    Mike

  5. Camille
    November 3rd, 2016

    The servos are Hitec HS-7960TH. The motors are standard spur gear motors from Servocity (https://www.servocity.com/motors-actuators/gear-motors/standard-duty-gear-motors/standard-spur-gear-motors). We aren’t using encoders on this robot.

  6. Phil
    February 1st, 2017

    Hi there! This is a unique project. I’ve been looking for a project like this for a very long time. A very talented family. May I ask you to give a bit more info on what and how many motor controllers you used to control 6 DC motors and 6 servos? How did you connect them to Arduino? Unfortunately there are almost no components available in the county I live in and shippint is quite expensive, so I would like to know for sure which ones I need before I order them on web.
    I would highly appreciate any information you are able to provide!
    Thank You!

  7. Camille
    February 3rd, 2017

    Thank you. The motor controllers are Sabertooth from Dimension Engineering. The servo controller is a Maestro from Pololu Robotics.

  8. Phil
    February 3rd, 2017

    Thank you!

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