Blog

Mini Mars Rover

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Recently we were asked to build a miniature Mars Rover for a new space museum in the Czech Republic. Although the Mini Mars Rover is only about 8″ long, it is a functional robot, including an Arduino Nano microcontroller, a high-resolution wifi camera, an xbee radio for remote control, a Sabertooth motor controller, six motors, a rocker-bogie suspension system, and other components. We designed and machined most of the robot’s parts using our CNC Mill.

 

Mini Mars Rover - Top Rear View

Mini Mars Rover – Top Rear View

 

Mini Mars Rover - Side View

Mini Mars Rover – Side View

 

Mini Mars Rover - Top View

Mini Mars Rover – Top View

 

Mini Mars Rover - Corner View

 

Mini Mars Rover - Rocker-Bogie Suspension System Close Up

Mini Mars Rover – Rocker-Bogie Suspension System Close Up

 

Mini Mars Rover - Front View

Mini Mars Rover – Front View

Mini Mars Rover - Rear View

Mini Mars Rover – Rear View

 

 

Mini Mars Rover - Electronics - Left to Right: Battery Alarm, Xbee Radio Adapter Board (red), Arduino Nano stacked on Motor Controller stacked on Voltage Booster, 7.4V LIPO Battery, Sharx Wifi Camera.

Mini Mars Rover – Electronics – Left to Right: Battery Alarm, Xbee Radio Adapter Board (red), Arduino Nano stacked on Motor Controller stacked on Voltage Booster, 7.4V LIPO Battery, Sharx Wifi Camera.

 

Mars Rover Top Plate immediately after it has been CNC machined but before the solar panels have been applied.

Mars Rover Top Plate immediately after it has been CNC machined but before the solar panels have been applied.

 

Front Arms with motor mounts

Front Arms with motor mounts

 

Mini Mars Rover Rocker

 

Rear Arm

Rear Arm

 

Mini Mars Rover Back Plate, Bottom Plate, Front Plate, and Side Plates. The newer version has a smaller hole for the camera.

Mini Mars Rover Back Plate, Bottom Plate, Front Plate, and Side Plates. The newer version has a smaller hole for the camera.

Comments (5)

  1. Brian and Jordan
    September 5th, 2013

    Very nice. Do you drill the edge holes prior to bending the sheet metal? Any problems with alignment if they are pre-drilled?

    The wheels are really nice. What is the tread material?

    Thanks

  2. Camille Beatty
    September 5th, 2013

    Brian and Jordan, Thank you. The sheet metal is pre-bent, then the edge holes are drilled. Great resource here: http://www.lmbheeger.com/products.asp?catid=71 We then use our CNC to drill the hole patterns (although you could do that manually also). The components of the rocker-bogie suspension system we cut out of aluminum on our CNC. The wheels are commercial, but instead of putting normal rubber tires on them, we put 1″ wide “non-slip” tread strip (like an office building would put on a stair tread of an outdoor stairway). It works really well and it gives it a great look.

  3. Brian and Jordan
    September 10th, 2013

    Yes, the stair tread looks great. Looks like it has some traction but its still very clean and low profile. How does the mini rover turn? Is there a steering mechanism on each wheel or does it pivot by reversing the wheels on one side? BTW, who makes the wheel? Thanks again for sharing your projects!

  4. Camille Beatty
    September 13th, 2013

    Our full-sized Mars Rover has very powerful servos that rotate the wheels so that the entire robot can robot in place. But on the Mini Mars Rover, we chose not to use steering servos (for size reasons). Instead, we use differential steering (like a tank). It works extremely well on most surfaces. Here is some footage of the Mini Mars Rover turning. Jump to time 1:13. https://vimeo.com/69354973

  5. TUSHAR SAKPAL
    August 14th, 2015

    please provide us circuit diagram of above project

Leave a Comment

Human Test (captcha): * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.