Mars Rotacaster Rover – ‘Mark II’    Send article as PDF   
Lookout NASA, you have Rover competition. And it uses the amazing Rotacasters for unsurpassed maneuverability in confined spaces. The Mars Rotacaster Rover is based on the current NASA Mars Rovers with their unique suspension set-up.

The ‘Mark II’ Mars Rotacaster Rover

As can be seen from the video below, the ‘Mark I’ Mars Rotacaster Rover works brilliantly.  After the proof of concept with the ‘Mark I’ version, I have totally rebuilt the whole chassis. The Rover now is using 12x Rotacasters in pairs, with each wheel set now been driven via 4x Medium Power Functions Motors. The Left and Right Motors are paralleled together and connected to the NXT Motor Ports via a pair of Power Functions adapter cables. The Rear Boogie’s wheels are now driven via a single Medium Power Functions Motors on each side.

The ‘Mark I’ Mars Rotacaster Rover Demonstration

The new ‘Mark II’ Mars Rotacaster Rover has the ability to turn in its own length without the need for normal mechanical steering. This is achieved, thanks to the unique design of the Rotacasters.The LEGO Rocker-Bogie design work well, imitating how the NASA Mars Rover’s Bogie System works. The whole Rocker-Bogie mechanism allows the wheels to easily flow over an obstacle. I do like it when a plan finally comes together! I added the extra paired Rotacasters for design stability.

RockerBogie-2.jpg RockerBogie-4.jpg RockerBogie-3.jpg RockerBogie-1.jpgLEGO_Mars_Rover-s.jpg
The ‘Mark II’ Mars Rotacaster Rover Slideshow

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve won a [dimu /> in a competition held on the Guy NXT door website run by Aswin Bouwmeester. I entered my ‘Mark I’ Mars Rotacaster Rover as the project I would use the dIMU for. I also have a dGPS and dWiFi Sensors in the way which I may also incorporated in the ‘Mark II’ version of Mars Rotacaster Rover.

JPL_Marsrover_rover1_rockerbogie.JPG NASA_Mars_Rover-s.jpg NASA-RockerBogie.jpg
The ‘NASA Mars Rover’ Slideshow

Over the weekend I hope to start a fresh with the programming for the ‘Mark II’ version and use RobotC instead of my usual choice: NXC />. I will also be spending time at the Guy NXT door website of Aswin Bouwmeester’s going through his excellent tutorials on the dIMU, as well as a few other tips and tricks of his.

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