We’ve been busy working on the new Mars Rover. Over the last few days we’ve been focused on the chassis, the thin-film solar panels for the top, the mast, and aligning the servos for steering. Pics below.
Here I am using my new power driver to work on the robot’s chassis. This is now my favorite tool.
Working on assembling the solar panels that will cover the top deck of the Mars Rover.
The completed “solar wings” and top deck. These are actual thin-film solar panels attached to custom-machined aluminum plates.
We ran into a particular challenge when it came time to build the mast. In the end, we decided to design and machine a custom servo plate using the CNC. The top of the plate will hold the pan servo. The bottom of the plate will hold the shaft tube (using a circular slot).
The custom servo plate mounted on the mast. The plate is held down with a threaded rod that goes down through the mast and threads into the bottom of the rover.
Here is the completed mast assembly. From the bottom up: The robot’s bottom plate, the mast flange, the mast tube, the custom servo plate, the pan servo, the top servo plate, the servo horn, and the mast head, which is made out of two custom machined plates of aluminum.
In order to align and calibrate the steering servos we created a special, full-scale drawing that indicates where the wheels should be at each of the various steering positions. This really helped center the servos properly.