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Major milestones reached on the Mars Rover

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

We’ve been making great progress on our new Mars Rover. We’ve posted some pics below.

We have completed the hardware portion of the rocker-bogie suspension system for the new Mars Rover.

We have completed the hardware portion of the rocker-bogie suspension system for the new Mars Rover, which is by far the most challenging portion of the build. Lunamoth assembled 80% of this chassis herself (I did about 20%). When she was finally done, her hands were so tired from all the screws that she asked for a power hex driver (which is now on order). This new chassis is far superior to the previous version in terms of robustness. Also, the black circles at the corners are sonars. Each corner wheel has two sonars (one pointing to the side and the other pointing either forward or backward). This rover will be able to detect exactly how close it is to all the obstacles around it, such as rocks and walls.

 

Lunamoth builds a sonar sub-assembly.

Lunamoth builds a sonar sub-assembly.

Julajay is soldering the various components to the Arduino Mega microcontroller.

Julajay is soldering the various components to the Arduino Mega microcontroller.

 

Julajay building the Power Rail.

Julajay building the Power Distribution Rail. We call this “making caterpillars.”

The three of us worked together to build this special wiring harness that will provide power  and connect the 8 sonars to the main Arduino board.  We call this "the squid."

The three of us worked together to build this special wiring harness that will provide power and connect the 8 sonars to the main Arduino board. We call this “the squid.”

 

Julajay soldering the wires onto the motors.

Julajay soldering the wires onto the motors.

 

Julajay working on the electronic elements of the chassis.

Julajay working on the electronic elements of the chassis.

 

Julajay in front of the Mars Rover chassis

Julajay in front of the Mars Rover chassis

 

The Mars Rover electronics, powered up with a 7.7V battery.

The Mars Rover electronics, powered up with a 7.4V battery.

 

The underside of the Mars Rover electronics plate.

The underside of the Mars Rover electronics plate.

 

The electronics plate mounted inside the main box. You can also see the chassis hub on the side, the camera mounted in the front, and the mast.

The electronics plate mounted inside the main box. You can also see the chassis hub on the side, the camera mounted in the front, and the mast.

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