Let's Make Robots!

Rover transforming rocket

An idea I had today how a rocket could be transformed into a planetary rover:


Rocket soars into the sky

Rocket engine drops at burn-out


Parachute deploys at peak altitude


Nose cone decouples and camera starts to work


Soft landing


Rover cuts parachute tether and travels autonomous or remote controlled


The rover consists basically of two long wheels without a gap between. Geared motors, battery, camera and electronic are in the hollow wheels located


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I am not sure rolling is going to be your best option, though the efficiency is much better with rolling. It would not take much to stop it from rolling though.

Another option would be a crawler. Think shortened popsicle sticks, inline with the fuselage, not centered in their section (so they drag the back end). Using separate motors it is steerable, less likely to be stopped by small obstacles and won't roll off down hill out of control.

Interesting. Can you make a sketch of your idea?

The sticks would be motor driven. You would launch with them both positioned tight to the sides out of the way. After landing and separation, you start spinning them slowly forward and they drag the robot along.

Simple but functional. Let me do a working mockup, I have two micro servos lying around. Maybe I could keep the nose cone in the front and put a ping inside.

If you can get them to open like scissors, it will have less pitch and yaw. You need continuous motion servos or other motors unless you come up with some clever ratchet style attachment.

One problem might be if the tube land on the scissors side. It would need to have some kind of mechanism to turn its body in case.

One option would be to have a third stick on the middle or back end as a stabilizer bar on top to keep it from tipping over. When you land, you check your orientation and use a combination of the 3 to get it oriented properly, then leave the stabilizing one sideways.

What about a Rhex like spring legs - during flight the spring part could be flattened in a groove along the rocket body - it might provide stabilization like fins.  Then after landing, they would pop out of the groove and return to a Rhex like configuration.

 Regarding terrain it seems pretty impressive from the videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIuRVr8z_WE



Hi GroG, That's quite interesting. I'll look at that.
Those are awesome! Definitely an upgrade over popsicle sticks. The footage of the bot going through brush, over train tracks and into/through water was amazing. How does the efficiency compare to wheels or tracks? By that I mean if you had a battery that was drained by going a mile with smooth wheels on a smooth flat surface, how far would it likely go using those? In rough terrain or uphill I expect it would be comparable.