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Earth Explorer in a small parcel

Send a camera equipped robot in a small parcel to mission targets around planet earth

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You can drive my camera equipped robots in my www.RoboSpatium.de since June 2011. Time for a new robot to leave my attic in order to explore new worlds.

The idea is that people all over the world can order my robot. It will be shipped free of charge to it's destination. In the target area you need to provide an Internet connection (WLAN or mobile phone) and batteries (they are not included to keep the weight low).

The control interface is a webpage of my RoboSpatium and I will guide you through the process of connecting the robot to my server. As soon as it runs, it's up to you where to set the tiny explorer free.

Show the world your school, university, workshop, your projects or an interesting place that mankind has ignored for too long...

To keep the shipping costs low, the robot must fulfil the following requirements:
Length: 14 to 60cm
Width: 9 to 60cm
Length+Width+Height: no more than 90cm
Weight: 450g (500g including envelope)

In the target area, the habitants must provide:
1.) 4-5 AA rechargeable batteries
2.) Internet connection (WLAN or mobile phone)
With the small dimensions, it is not for rough terrain, thus the robot will be better for indoor than outdoor mission targets, but let's see how it performs...

For a larger robot or one with batteries included, the weight could be 1000g (double weight=double shipping costs)

The computing unit will be a Raspberry Pi Zero WLAN, thus Internet connection can go through USB, WLAN or Bluetooth.

To keep weight low, the chassis can be 3D printed.

Test drive my robots in my www.RoboSpatium.de.

  • Rover meets rover

    Norbert Heinz06/10/2017 at 16:59 0 comments

    I did a first test run with all components more or less loosely in the body of my Earth Explorer. The test terrain was my RoboSpatium (my attic) and my latest rover took a snapshot of my first rover ever (that is in service since June 01, 2011, driving more than 10km since that day):

    Soft and hardware of my Earth Explorer are still in a very experimental state, but work goes on over the weekend...

  • 4 wheels

    Norbert Heinz06/09/2017 at 20:43 0 comments

    The conceptual design was a 6 wheeler, but now my earth explorer comes with only 4 wheels having a radius of 10cm.Looks like the torque of the geared motors is sufficient to move the rover with low speed on flat ground. Tests will show what slope the rover can climb. Even if only a few parts are printed yet, there are changes in the design. The wheel hub has been changed to fit more tightly on the axis of the motor. For best results, minor changes on the body were made, too.


  • 3D printing

    Norbert Heinz06/08/2017 at 21:58 0 comments

    I have printed the base components of the first Earth Explorer prototype:

    It took 36h to manufacture the parts needed to get a rolling chassis. Things like a battery box, mounts for the driver boards, the Raspberry Pi or the camera are still missing, however I will be able to get a driving rover during weekend. The "Internet of Useful Things" section of this years HackadayPrize comes to an end on Monday which is why I will work on my project the coming days to turn the static camera that transmits photos from my attic into a mobile image sensor which is more useful, I guess.

  • First live transmission

    Norbert Heinz05/23/2017 at 15:08 0 comments

    I have connected a stepper motor, four LEDs and a USB camera to my Raspberry Pi Zero WLAN (the cable for the Pi camera module hasn't arrived yet).

    Next thing was doing coding in html, Java script, Perl and C to get a basic user interface. The result is an IoT device that is not mobile yet:

    You can have a look at the arrangement on my control page:

    http://homofaciens.de/robospatium-controlstation-EE1_en.htm

    You can turn the stepper motor clockwise or counterclockwiese and turn the LEDs ON or OFF. The live view is transmitted by still images that are refreshed each 10s (more or less). Some feedback would be nice if it works with your Browser and your OS - thanks!

    The arrangement is placed in my RoboSpatium, thus you can also inspect that basic IoT device with my Lander camera:

    http://homofaciens.de/robospatium-controlstation-lander_en.htm

    or my rover number 1:

    http://homofaciens.de/robospatium-controlstation-rover_en.htm

  • 271g

    Norbert Heinz04/25/2017 at 11:17 0 comments

    I have purchased the base components needed to build my tiny world explorer robot:

    1 Raspberry Pi Zero WLAN

    6 Stepper motors 28BYJ-48 + control boards

    1 Micro servo

    1 Rasperry Pi IR camera module

    The total weight is:

    The target weight for the robot must be below 500g to keep the shipping costs low. No more than 200g are left for:

    LEDs + chassis + wheels + battery holder.

    The robot will ship without batteries. 4 or 5 AA cells will be needed to power the electronics.

    Next things to be done are:

    -Wiring it up and see if it runs

    -3D print chassis and wheels

    -Adapt the software of my Curiosity Pi to make it run.

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