The First Rover

(Originally posted Oct 20, 2013)

Here’s the almost-completed rover testbed.  The wheels, motors and two black acrylic decks came in a kit and were the starting point.  From there, I soldered in the motor leads and built the white acrylic decks for holding the electronics.  On the first level, you can see the breadboard with a few sensors on it, the Arduino Uno and Motor Shield and then a 4 AA cell battery pack.  On the top level, you see the Raspberry Pi (which isn’t hooked up yet) and an 8 AA cell battery pack.  The 8 pack will be replaced soon with a modular USB battery pack which is supposed to arrive this week.  All the bits and pieces are secured to the decks with Velcro, which should withstand the blistering speeds the rover will reach.


Not shown is the Wireless USB stick that will provide the comm link

Unfortunately, it isn’t quite operational yet.  I can’t get the motor shield to send voltage to the drive motors.  I suspect that I “de-optimized” (i.e. broke) the motor shield as I was soldering and testing it.  I’ll be troubleshooting that this week.  Hopefully it is just a mistake in configuration and I won’t have to buy a new shield.

Once I get this all working, I can start trying out different guidance mechanisms.


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