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.

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?


  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: 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.

    August 14th, 2015

    please provide us circuit diagram of above project

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