The Epiphany Rover will be an innovative vehicle designed and manufactured with the intent of competing in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The ambitions of this design will be to create a rover which will carry two riders and overcome the harsh terrain, and environment of an extraterrestrial environment. The Epiphany Rover is designed to be as light as possible due to the cost of transporting items off our planet. This will be accomplished by using carbon fiber throughout much of the structure and also in as many components as possible. The rover will consist of a three wheel design, a unique inboard suspension, and a drive train using internal gear hub systems. The wheels used on the rover will also be a unique design. They will be non-pneumatic, and consist of non-commercial specialized polymers to create a tread that will propel the Epiphany across NASA's course. The Epiphany’s wheels will be constructed from carbon fiber and will use clever engineering to allow for the wheels themselves to be modular.
As part of the parameters for NASA's competition the rover itself will also need to fit into a 5 foot cubic box, which will require some creative ingenuity to design a method for the rover to fold into a storage configuration. The suspension will be completely independent and will be adaptable to the terrain through driver controls. This will allow for the Epiphany to succeed throughout a wide range of the terrain challenges presented by NASA.
Overall the design of the Epiphany rover will allow for a faster, lighter, and more dependable vehicle to move two riders across a wide range of terrains no matter what planet it is tested on.
Video Song Credit: Ashton Gleckman - Eccentrica http://www.ashtongleckman.com/
Risks and challenges
The major risk we need to overcome is utilizing construction techniques and materials not see before in this competition. By going the way less traveled we have no prior data of any kind to base our build on. Our qualification comes from a group of highly motivated and intellectual people who are committed to the same goal, win the competition and setting the bar to the next level.
The major challenge we face is the construction of the bespoke wheels. This is a ground up design that really hasn’t been attempted. There are a number of concerns that range from construction, to lay up of carbon fiber in the size we require to curing the final pieces. Construction of the wheels will come down to design and we are currently working in Solidworks to design a wheel that will fit all the requirements while maintaining simple construction techniques. We are working hands on with carbon fiber layups and finding that ultimate balance of strength to weight we need. Finally we plan to procure through sponsorship the required ovens we need for the size of the wheels. Beyond this our team is prepared for most eventualities, we are comprised of people from a wide range of backgrounds and have resources that each can draw on outside of the university to make sure our project is completed, to our goals, within budget and on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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