Arxterra Pathfinder: A Journey to the First Telerobotic Park

by Arxterra Pathfinder

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$0.00 pledged of $50,000 goal
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By Arxterra Pathfinder
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About this project

    Arxterra is committed to the creation of an open source Telerobotics System of Parks.  Telerobotics means, "Using robotics as an extension of the user through a virtual medium."

The Journey Begins

Safely in its shelter, a small robot awaits its first commands. As the sun rises, the shelter doors slide open revealing an awesome sight. Over two miles away, beyond the dried riverbeds, lava flows, and basalt plains lies the end of the robot's adventure - an ancient volcanic crater. 

    So also begins our journey, and this Kickstarter project, as an open-source community to demonstrate the technology which will eventually lead to the creation of the first telerobotic system of parks. Before we can open these parks for everyone to enjoy we need to show proof of the concept. This is that proof; a way to navigate a rover from point A to point B from anywhere in the world. Case in point, as our Pathfinder Rover navigates a remote and hostile Mars-like terrain, we will be sitting comfortably hundreds of miles away in our Mission Control and Computing Center (MC3) located in Huntington Beach, California.

Why?

    The internet is evolving from an individual who begins in the real world and interacts with a virtual world to one where the individual begins and ends in the real world. The gamer who is tired of interacting with a make-believe world, now goes on real adventures in the real world. The maker who wants to design and print a better robot now has a place to test his robot’s mettle. The elderly in a hospice tired of four walls and yearns to walk in a field of grass.

    There is now a convergence of technologies that make remotely controlled robots, not a question of if or even when; but how soon. The sensors, camera, display, and wireless communications critical to the design of any robot are now available in low-cost smart phones. The maker societies and especially 3D printing have made the construction of sophisticated robots an almost commonplace event. Finally, a high bandwidth wireless internet have allowed us to communicate with the most remote parts of the world.

    Merging these technologies will allow us to create something the world has never seen nor dreamed before, but first things first....

The Pathfinder Rover

     Taking us on this journey is our Pathfinder Rover. Arxterra's rugged prototype robot. The brains of our rover is an Android Phone which will provide navigation, location, video feed, and communication. Six motors power each of its six independent suspension wheels. We have based our system on the open source Arduino platform and once this rover has completed it's mission, the rover design documents will be released. Until then, you can learn more about the preliminary design of our rover here. But why make this open source you may ask?

    The design of the pathfinder rover is based on open source software and hardware to encourage redesign and innovations from fellow makers, hobbyists, artists, and robotics enthusiasts. We encourage everyone to help build this community from the ground up to revolutionize telepresence in our modern world. We've had a lot of fun going from the real world to the virtual world; let's bring it back into the real world.

Why We're Requesting Funding

   We are requesting funding to further develop the technological and network requirements to enable the Pathfinder Rover's mission: A 2.1 mile, fully telepresent journey through out-of-this-world terrain; ultimately ending at a ancient volcanic crater. Moreover, the technology developed will allow everyone to take the journey with us online as the entire journey will be streamed in real time!

At the end of our mission, the rover will be released as an open source design for everyone to enjoy and improve upon. We are actively looking for people passionate about robotics and exploration to help us on this mission and our future journeys. We want you to be the foundation of Arxterra Pathfinder and future Arxterra Parks.

Where We Are Now

    The home of the pathfinder rover is at our Advanced Robot Experimental (ARX) testing facility in the high desert of California. Using these harsh conditions, we are refining and redesigning our current robot model and testing software and network performance. We have a working robot and user interface prototype. We are ready to begin our journey! With your support; we will! Join the adventure!

User Interface Prototype
User Interface Prototype

The Future

    After a successful kickstarter campaign and completion of the Pathfinder Mission, our next goal is to open two parks. We have secured land for both locations but seek this proof of concept before we can move forward.

    This first park will be located where our pathfinder rover navigated its first historic mission. Have you ever wanted to explore Mars? Located in the high desert, next to an historic route no longer bearing its name, and only 2.1 miles from an extinct volcano; this martian-like terrain, will challenge and excite makers, robot enthusiasts, and robot adventurers from around the globe. Test your bot's stamina and endurance while exploring dried riverbeds, lava flows, basalt plains, and at the center of the volcano, a solidified lava lake.

Near the ARX Site!
Near the ARX Site!

 Our scenic park will be located in sunny Southern California just south of Quail Lake off the old ridge route highway. Robots will have lots of hills and old valley oaks to roam. The park's non-robotic residences include badgers, raccoon,  prong horn antelope, black bears, bob cats, mountain lions, coyotes, gray foxes, golden eagles, hawks, mule deer, and ground squirrels. If robots interacting with wildlife doesn't excite you, the San Andreas Fault goes right through the property offering some nice geological formations for you and your bots to investigate.

Scenic Camp Site
Scenic Camp Site

   Of course, without this initial crowd sourced support, these robotic parks may never come to fruition. Join us on our adventure and revolutionize the world!!!

Artist Rendering of Arxterra Parks
Artist Rendering of Arxterra Parks

Rewards Summary

Humans for Robots Poster or T-Shirt!
Humans for Robots Poster or T-Shirt!
sticker
sticker
Arxterra Flag
Arxterra Flag
Robot Crossing Sign
Robot Crossing Sign

Stretch Goals

 $100,000 Dual Robot Mission

    We build two rovers who will work together and film each others journey to the volcano!!!

$500,000: Ultimate Shelter

    Rover Duo Mission plus we will build the shelter with charging stations to be used at Arxterra Parks. Moreover, every person with the the Ultimate Explorer package will get to spend some quality time controlling one of our rovers exploring at one of our camps. 

$1,000,000: Arxterra Park Seed Money

    We'll build up the infrastructure at one of our locations to hold an undetermined amount of robot guests. Every person with the Ultimate Explorer package will get some free time at our camp. Anyone who built or bought their own Arxterra Pathfinder rover is free to send their bots to us for 1 month free space rental. Shipping is not included.

$2,500,000: Forget Venture Capitalists, We'll do this ourselves!

   We'll develop one of the the first two parks! One camp will be built at one of our locations. Every person with the Ultimate Explorer package our higher will get some free time at our camp. Anyone who built or bought their own Arxterra Pathfinder rover is free to send their bots to us for 3 month free space rental. Shipping included!

Risks and challenges

A project of this size and magnitude will always carry risks inherent to the design process. Since the land desired is in remote locations, access to internet and utilities may present unforeseen expenditures. However, our team of robot designers, electrical engineers, programmers, fabricators, and artists are fully capable of overcoming any and all obstructions. This is our passion! Additionally, while we have secured land for both the experimental and scenic sites, developing and opening a fully functional telerobotic park will require additional funding via crowd sourcing and/or venture capitalists.

This Kickstarter is for the open source rover design and the mission only. Moreover, unseen obstacles may necessitate human assistance in the desert environment. However, we promise to keep any human robot interaction to a minimum and only in the most dire and unexpected circumstances.

Sample graphic designs shown above may be changed.

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    Every dollar counts - THANK YOU!

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    Desert Sage Supporter: Official ArxTerra sticker and get 1 vote to name shelter or robot.

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    "Humans for Robots" poster: You have seen the video now get the poster!

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    Humans for Robots or Arxterra t-shirt. We'll send you a survey at the end of the campaign to get your size.

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    Desert Sponsor: Your name on the website, Arxterra sticker, a "Humans for Robots" poster and 1 vote to name shelter or robot.

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    Souvenir Copy of the Robot Crossing Sign. To complete its journey our pathfinder rover will need to cross a highway. This is a homage to the real thing. Of course, a larger pledge will get you the real thing.

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    Camp tour, lunch, and hike to the volcano: Visit our camp and join us on a journey to the center of a volcano! Lunch is of course included. Also includes a framed picture of you in the center of the volcano, next to our flag and pathfinder rover. Reward does not include travel or lodging.

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    Complete Journey Package: Souvenir copies of the “Robot” crossing sign and the Arxterra flag planted in the center of the volcano. In addition, a map showing the path taken by our pathfinder rover and a framed picture of the rover next to the flag.

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    Limited Edition “Robot” crossing sign. To complete its journey our pathfinder rover will need to cross a highway. Now you can own a piece of history with this limited edition exact replica of the “Robot” crossing sign.

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    Ultimate Explorer: Your name on wall at the campsite (where the robots can see it), plus more goodies (Sticker, t-shirt, poster, and complete Journey Package). We are not done – you also get the camp tour and a “Humans for Robots” poster signed by the Arxterra team. If that is not enough you will also be eligible to nominate a name for shelter or robot (no obscenities, please!)

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    Party Animal: Attend the end-of-journey party at our super-secret Huntington Beach headquarters in sunny Southern California, meet the team, and get some free stuff!! Note: reward does not include travel or lodging.

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    $1,500.00 Makers Tour: Get a dozen of your maker friends together, visit our camp, and join us on a journey to the center of a volcano! Lunch is of course included. Also includes a framed picture of your maker’s group in the center of the volcano, next to our flag and pathfinder rover.
    Surprise! You are also welcome to bring your own robots to play at our desert facility. Please add $125.00 for each additional club member over 12 (Limit is 50 members). Note: Reward does not include travel or lodging.

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    Path Finder: One of the paths taken by the rover is named in your honor or any other name you choose. (no obscenities, please!) Of course you also get to go on the camp tour and receive tickets to the end-of-journey party.

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    Makers Rover Kit: We will send you everything you need to build your own Arxterra Pathfinder rover. Get ready for your own journey of exploration and adventure! You will also be recognized as an Official Maker Rover Pioneer and we will feature your builds when completed on our website with a short bio on you or your maker group! Requires electronics and soldering experience.

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    Pathfinder Rover: Live the dream with a duplicate of the rover that journeyed to a volcano and back again. This reward also includes the complete Journey Package.

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