Rover number 6 will become a global explorer. Have a look at it's predecessor R5 to see what it might look like.
Please leave a comment if you are missing features.
What to add to the robot
Commonly available, single board computer with support from a huge community.
Used to establish Internet connection.
Raspberry IR camera module
Many image parameters configurable through software.
Two modules can be connected to the Raspberry Pi.
Adding an IR filter turns them into normal cameras.
More cameras (USB)
For example a wide angle camera on a tower at the top of the robot to give you a third person view.
...and what type of camera would you add?
Camera on a servo that can turn 380°.
Arduino Uno (Atmega328P).
ADC converters, real time computing.
Display 2x16 LCD
Check, if connection to Internet can be established.
Cheap, Low power consumption
Very limited screen.
Easy access to the Raspberry Pi.
Expensive, high power consumption.
Higher reliability, lower stall current.
More expensive than DC motors.
Push buttons at the corners of the bumpers.
Simple collision detection.
Detect a collision, but can't prevent it...
More flexible collision detection than with push buttons at the corners of the bumpers.
Can't detect small obstacles.
Internal temperature sensors
Observe the temperature inside the rover to cool or heat the electronics.
Cheap type of sensor.
External temperature sensors
Observe environmental temperature to collect data of the target area.
Cheap type of sensor.
See where the rover is.
Won't work indoors.
Gyroscope / Accelerometer
Warning if the rover might tilt.
Microphone / Speakers
Record sounds, talk to lifeforms.
Please feel free to join the discussion about the rover design by leaving a comment.
The atmosphere of the target planet is highly corrosive - it contains water and oxygen. Temperatures are ranging from less than -40°C to more than +60°C. Freezing water can cause damage. The rover will be under attack from microbes, plants and alien species.
The box design of R5 will be used because of it's simplicity. The chassis might have to be repaired during the world trip, thus a more complex shape would make it hard to repair the rover on the location it currently is.
Do you have ideas for a simple, but probably more exciting design?
Plywood is my favorite material (what type of plywood do you suggest?). Its commonly available, thus it enables people all over the world to repair the chassis of the rover in case something goes totally wrong...
Wood has good thermal protection capabilities - the rover might operate in ice and snow as well as in a dessert.
The size of the robot isn't carved in stone, yet. What size do you suggest?
The larger, the better offroad capabilities, but the more expensive the postal charges.
Large robots need stronger motors, which makes the robot more expensive...
Wheeled or tracked?
I have chosen to use 6 wheels at R5, because a failure of one motor doesn't stop the whole vehicle.
What type of wheels do you suggest?
...or use tracks?
Leave a comment to join the discussion.
What type of batteries?
The 6V lead acid batteries are simple to handle - they won't catch fire and nothing but a 7V constant voltage is needed to charge the batteries. However they have a poor energy density.
AA Nickel metal hydride batteries are common types, have a better energy density and chargers are available on all continents.
Lithium polymer batteries have a great energy density, but are expensive, tricky to handle and might catch fire.
What type of battery do you suggest?