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  1. #1

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    RC model mars rover?

    For a while I've thought that it would be nifty to build an R/C mars rover - either a scale of Spirit/Opportunity or something similar, or a scratchbuilt - and set it loose in the bush somewhere.

    OK, so it wouldn't exactly be radio controlled, directly, more like computer guided, with a radio link to my home computer for photo downloads and command uploads. Sort of a semi-autonomous system. It would be interesting both as a technical challenge (with much lower cost and risk than a real extraplanetary rover), and to see what kind of things you can see in the bush when there aren't humans around.


    Has anyone heard of anyone doing this? I think it'd make a great thesis project for someone doing astronautical engineering or something. (ieeople smarter than me)

  2. #2
    tommygun32's Avatar
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    RE: RC model mars rover?

    Not necessarily a Rover type but the guys at National Geographic and also the BBC have made RCcamera vehicles for filming wildlife up close and personal.

    I remember one that looked just like aturtle and getting REALLYclose into a herd of wild elephants. The elephants actually started playing with it and rolled it onto its back.

    Another one was shaped and painted to look like a rock. Itgot intoa troop of lions while feeding. Very up close and personal. There was also one that was even able to get real close to crocs in the water.

    If you do decide to make something like that, I'd say go with tracks and not wheels. Good luck and keep us posted.
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  3. #3

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    RE: RC model mars rover?

    sounds cool, let us know how how to control it via computer, that would be a cool away from home security option for patrolling your stuff. like previously mentioned, tracks would be a better option for traction and floatation (through soft terrain).

  4. #4
    tommygun32's Avatar
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    RE: RC model mars rover?

    mahogany dreams.....that does bring up a interestingquestion.....NASAobviously controls its Rovers and unmanned sattelites via computer sending comands through what? Radio transmissions?Whatfrequencydo they use that can travel that distance. For a local application like say around a 40 acre home plot or something, Ifigure a low powered,low end FMfrequency couldbe used. One that is constantly on and broadcasting commands through RDS possibly. RDS by the way is the signalthat can retune youcar radio to the stronger channel or to another station for emergency announcements. It's also what sends the information to some car radio screens about what song is now playing, what song is next, traffic bulletins or any other message that the radio station wants you to see on your cars radio screen. But here's the challenge, how to incorporate that into a receiver that can translate the commands (it must be possible, NASAdoes it. Maybe not through RDS, but they do do it).

    Anotherquestion would be, would you have to be registered with the FCC for this? There's got to be a way to do something like this. Me thinks some research lurks on the near horizon, because I think my simple mind is probably making it all too complicated.
    The rest of your life starts now. Go Live It!

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  5. #5

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    RE: RC model mars rover?

    you know a lot more about alternative r/c than i do man!! have you seen a plantraco desktop rover? this is kinda the type of control i want, but real time instead of move by move input.. it has a usb interface cable to hook the controller to a computer, but you can only enter single commands like left turn, right turn, zero spin left, zero spin right, forward, and reverse.

  6. #6
    skeeter_ca's Avatar
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    RE: RC model mars rover?

    I was thinking of remote control tanks. Operated from my computer to hunt down and kill another tank doing the same thing. It would be cool to run tanks on my acre from a joystick in my house on my computer with a camera showing the tanks view. Unfortunately i haven't won the lottery yet.

    skeeter
    \"It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission\".

  7. #7

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    RE: RC model mars rover?

    A friend of mine is working on a project (though its on the backburner at the moment) to build a large scale computer controlled battleship using a bunch of microcomputers - gumstix, if I recall correctly - using regular wifi as the radio system, and some fancy linux-based software on his laptop to show video feeds, navigational info, gun control, etc. I think he was leaning towards a crew of guys controlling it, rather than one guy. The idea being to have a few ships and compete in realistic battles on a large lake.

    I was thinking a simplified control system on the user's end, but with a more complex on board controller with more autonomy. I'm certain it can be done, NASA does it after all.

    As far as ACMA regulations go: using regular wifi hardware would keep everything legal, and with high gain antennas you can get a large range out of low power radios. I was even thinking of having wifi relays that could be dropped off and activated when the signal starts to drop to extend range. But yeah, mostly this is pipe dreaming haha!

  8. #8
    phreaktor's Avatar
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    RE: RC model mars rover?

    I work for Lockheed Martin Space Systems. I''ll send you some documents.





    JK. But I do work for Lockheed as a technician and I would be willing to assist.
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  9. #9

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    RE: RC model mars rover?

    ORIGINAL: phreaktor

    I work for Lockheed Martin Space Systems. I''ll send you some documents.





    JK. But I do work for Lockheed as a technician and I would be willing to assist.
    Can you contribute a grip of cash? Im serious, can you? lol.just kidding. What kind of assistance could you give?


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