Having seen how easily robotics projects are done with an iCreate, I have wanted to develop a similar platform for outdoor use. I was hoping that iRobot would release a cheaper less durable version of the Packbot or one of its smaller siblings but that doesn’t look like it will be happening any time soon.
My initial plans were to design the platform in the same vein as the Packbot with treads and flippers, if not flippers, a versatile tread configuration for climbing objects. But making a cheaper platform with treads looks to be cost and complexity prohibitive. So with all of the MSL-Curiosity rover pictures flying around the web, I have decided to look into a platform based off of the rocker-bogie suspension.
It has been difficult to find detailed specifications of the Curiosity rover but I have come up with a basic design scaling down the platform to about the size of a push lawnmower(a little bit bigger). I have created a scale model, which you can see on the website or in the video.
The end goals are:
- Create a 6 wheel rover.
- Each wheel will have its own motor and controller.
- The Rover will use the rocker-bogie suspension.
- The frame will be made of Aluminum/Steel.
- All documentation will be freely available upon completion of the prototype.
- Release kit and assembled units will be for purchase if prototype is viable, similar to Makerbot Industries and Willow Garage.
- (30 days)