Modelled on the ESA/Roscosmos/UKSA ExoMars rover due to launch in 2020 and land on Mars in 2021, we are making the rover partly to help us understand the general structure of the real rover, and partly as a fun project. It’s built to be approximately 1/5th scale, and has some general simplifications (e.g. fixed wheels).
The rover has been mostly laser cut from plywood. Some of the cut sections have been glued together to form the bathtub, bogeys and wheels of the rover. Servos drive each of the six wheels and panning from the base of the PanCam mast. The servos are all connected to a receiver so we can remote-control drive with skid steering and pan the PanCam unit to look around.
Most recently we completed work on the solar panels. They are hinged to demonstrate the deployment method: when they are folded for transport to Mars, the two rear panels on the ‘wings’ will be upwards-facing. This way, if there are any problems in deploying them, there will still be two panels that are uncovered ready to collect solar energy.
So far it’s been used for university teaching (having made a guest appearance in a Space Robotics lecture), outreach (having made a couple of guest appearances at Aber Robotics Club), and general malarkey…
Inspired by the discovery of conductive paint and a paper circuits workshop at EMF, we ran a workshop to make cards with LED circuits!
I had a bit of fun designing the logo for this one, and made a card featuring a reindeer who’s nose shines bright… The helpers had as much fun as the visitors in this festive, creative, glittery event.
The cards are made using copper tape, LEDs, and a coin cell battery to make a basic circuit.
Finish it off by taping the vertical side of the folded corner shut so that you can drop the battery in through the top to complete the circuit.
I have been working with one of the students of the Aber Robotics Club to make a board that shows off some of the vast numbers of sensors you can get for the Arduino. It was debuted at the 2016 Beach Lab, and has just finished receiving upgrades to head off to the Eisteddfod in Abergavenny next week…