Mars'O Bot

MARS’O BOT: A MARS SOCIETY AUSTRALIA ROBOTICS PROJECT

S. W. Hobbs

 

The Mars’O Bot project proposes to develop affordable rover platforms suitable for undertaking scientific exploration in terrestrial environments analogous to Mars. In order to achieve this Mars’O Bot is derived from a simplified existing Mars rover design successfully trialled by JPL; the Russian Marsokhod. Mars’O Bot employs a low centre of gravity, independent suspension, skid steering and six wheeled drive. Mars’O Bot is also controlled by the versatile, open source Arduino microprocessor architecture and is also designed to accommodate solar power generation, a multispectral camera and has room for an additional 2 kg of scientific payload.

 

AIMS

Mars’O Bot aims to provide a platform that is able to conduct productive scientific missions in a hostile environment and be useful for teaching students about electronics and robotics through the following:

  • Mechatronics and microcontroller programming using based on the Atmel Arduino;
  • Designing and implementing mission specific scientific payloads;
  • Off world soil excavation and processing;
  • Principles of serial communications, including transmission error handling;
  • Renewable energy generation, power management and their impact on rover operations;
  • Application of multispectral remote sensing to mineralogy and geomorphology;
  • Principles of remote navigation and obstacle avoidance; and
  • Demonstrating tradeoffs between methods of operation (eg semi-autonomous vs fully autonomous behaviour);

 

PLATFORM SPECIFICATIONS:

Big Blue Rover

Size: 1m long

Payload capacity: 10kg;

Electronics: 2 X arduino (one science, 1 vehicle mobility control);

Control: 2.4GHz R/C (mobility), 2.4GHz serial (science, GPS);

Mobility: 4WD skid steered robot powered by 4 12V motors in the wheel hubs.

Experiments: colour FPV camera, GPS, Temp and pressure experiments;

 

Mining Rover (under construction)

Size: 1m long

Payload capacity: 10+kg (each motor is rated to 25kg lifting capacity);

Electronics: 2 X arduino (one science, 1 vehicle mobility control);

Control: 2.4GHz R/C (mobility), 2.4GHz serial (science, GPS);

Mobility: 8WD on four rocker bogies skid steered robot powered by 8 6V motors geared to the wheels.

Experiments: colour FPV camera, GPS, soil extraction and processing (to be fitted);

 

Little Blue Rover (under construction)

Size: 55cm long

Payload capacity: 2kg;

Electronics: 2 X arduino (one science, 1 vehicle mobility control);

Control: 2.4GHz R/C (mobility), 2.4GHz serial (science, GPS);

Mobility: 4WD skid steered robot powered by 4 12V 5A motors in the wheel hubs (chassis retrofitted with high power motors).

Experiments (to be fitted): colour multispectral FPV camera, solar panels, GPS, Temp and pressure experiments, hazard ultrasonic sensors;

 

MarsObot

Size: 45cm long

Payload capacity: 1kg;

Electronics: 2 X arduino (one science, 1 vehicle mobility control);

Control: 2.4GHz R/C (mobility), 2.4GHz serial (science, GPS);

Mobility: 6WD skid steered robot powered by 6 6V 2A motors in the wheel hubs;

Experiments: colour multispectral FPV camera, solar panels, Temp and pressure experiments, rear hazard ultrasonic sensor.

 

Marsobot Junior

Size: 45cm long

Weigh:t 6 kg.

Payload capacity: 1kg

Electronics: 2 X arduino (one science, 1 vehicle mobility control);

Control: 2.4GHz R/C (mobility), 2.4GHz serial, Raspberry Pi vision system

Mobility: 6WD skid steered robot powered by 6 6V 2A motors in the wheel hubs;

Experiments: colour multispectral (four bands) camera, spectrometer, webcam, GPS.

Built for and to be tested on Spaceward Bound New Zealand