3D Robotics

Let's start an official ArduRover project

3689386931?profile=originalInspired by John Arne's post, I got a Redcat Rockslide, which is totally cool and a great robotics platform. As you can see, it's really easy to add a mounting platform for electronics (that's APM with GPS and Xbee mounted above) and there's LOADS of room. You could even have it carry a laptop if you wanted. BTW, that's the 1/8 size Redcat shown above, which is $236. I think the 1/10 size Redcat would probably be just as good for most uses, and it's just $159. [Update: the 1:10 isn't big enough. See this comparison]

I've registered the ArduRover name, and am now just looking for the best starting point to modify the APM code for ground rovers. Since James Goppert is part of the APM dev team, we'll probably start with his rover code, which you can see at work here. But if others have code or sensor additions to the basic APM set that would be good to add to a rover, this is the place to discuss and share.


Ideally, we'll get this done in time for the Sparkfun AVC contest, on the hope that APM can have a decent chance of placing in all of the categories--ground, plane and quad. Which would be awesome.





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  • The ArduRover picture at the top of this page shows a base plate made of what appears to be some sort of metal.   I made mine out of plastic - and got to wondering about the advantages/disadvantages of plastic vs. metal.

    There was another forum discussion about ground stations, where someone had referred to using an ungrounded piece of metal as backing behind a 900 MHz transmitter, as if it were a good thing (wish I could find the link to refer you to it).   Can a metal backing plate act as a crude antenna pad?   Is there a downside?

    I have plenty of spare 16 gauge aluminum around from another project, so now is a good time to switch from plastic to aluminum - if there is a convincing argument to do so. 

    Any thoughts/opinions?


  • Another noobie question:

    I got my new uBlox GPS (my first GPS), and it has a black plastic shield that fits over the antenna that is loose (it just falls off).   I was looking to see if it screws on, or attaches in some way - and don't see that it does.   Easy enough for me to superglue it in place - but was wondering if this is normal for this uBlox?

    Anyone else have one that can clue me in?

  • I'll definitely track your progress - and am likely to kick in when you've got a little more detail up!

    Been following the whole, capacaitive and inductive wireless power stories with interest for some time, but don't know anyone using them yet.   Some mats are up to 100 watts now (which would seem enough) - with 90% efficiency = but there is some question of proximity between the coils and the mat. 



  • How does a wireless charging solution sound???  The Qi power consortium is in the final approval stages for higher wattage power solutions and I am working with Texas Instruments (who makes the BQTesla series of chips) on a wireless charging solution for R/C Hobby batteries.  I am even making it all OpenSource and am working on a Kickstarter project.  The website is http://www.OpenQi.com (really just a placeholder at this point)  You could build a charging base and just have the rover drive right over the top.

  • Anyone have a graceful solution for recharging a battery while still in a RC system?

    I realize that probably means giving up on LiPo's - but being a ground based vehicle that doesn't need to go fast, I'm not married to that battery type, and can go for other chemistries.

    Ideally, I would like a single power plant to handle the whole system (telemetry, APM, receiver/servos/motors, possibly video, some added computational power) - that could just be plugged into a wall, and keep working (like a laptop does).

    Easy enough to rip out the power supply (and batteries) from a laptop - but that wouldn't give me the discharge rate that would be needed for the motors.   Probably could use a laptop power plant for everything else though.   It would seem that everything but the motors would be pulling a relatively consistent drain.

    The ArduRover is just a base for a future robot project, so just now thinking through the entire power plant for this system, and looking at what my options are...

  • Developer


         Yes, i think that's basically what you need to do.  I'm not very familiar with the arduRover code but you should find a declaration for each sonar which specifies which analog pin it uses.

         Also you need to daisy chain some of the pins of the sonar together so that they fire in sequence.  If you don't do this, you'll get strange values as the sound from one sonar will be picked up by another.  Check this link and search for "multiple sensor applications".

  • Noob needs some assistance.

    New to RC's, not new to Arduino (or programming).

    Picked up a new APM with UBlox GPS and XBee telemetry kit, a Traxxas Slash 2.4 GHz RC car - and a handful of Maxsonars.  Now trying to put together my first ArduRover.

    Downloaded the software, and reviewing assembly instructions, tested the components individually - but I wanted to confirm my understanding of using multiple sonar hookups.

    One set of instructions, tells me to use the pitot tube pins near the front of the IMU (obviously good only for a single sonar).

    Source code has a comment in the AP_RangeFinder_test sketch, referring to the A5 pad near the switch on the IMU.


    #define RF_PIN AP_RANGEFINDER_PITOT_TUBE // the pitot tube on the front of the oilpan
    //#define RF_PIN A5 // A5 is the far back-right pin on the oilpan (near the CLI switch)

    // declare global instances for reading pitot tube
    AP_ADC_ADS7844    adc;
    ModeFilter mode_filter;

    // create the range finder object
    //AP_RangeFinder_SharpGP2Y aRF(&adc, &mode_filter);
    AP_RangeFinder_MaxsonarXL aRF(&adc, &mode_filter);


    The CarStampede.h file refers to the following:

    static bool rangeFinderFrontEnabled = true;
    static bool rangeFinderBackEnabled = true;
    static bool rangeFinderLeftEnabled = true;
    static bool rangeFinderRightEnabled = true;
    static bool rangeFinderUpEnabled = true;
    static bool rangeFinderDownEnabled = true;


    I want to enable rangeFinders front, back, left, and right.

    To do this, would I simply supply a common supply rail to the four sensors, and then tie their individual AN (analog) pins to the IMU A2-A5 pads?


  • This is the cheapest rover Ive seen already assembled. It is shield stacking friendly and you can change the Atmega328 out w/ a Atmega 2560 and be a little more capable!! Think It may be my new project, lol. I am in no way affiliated w/ this site - Check out the DFRobotshop Rover, $89.99 for the base model(ardurino...

  • Chris, guys, i have 3 rc cars WAITING!!! for this thing. I don't have any program skills but i wanna help some how.
  • This project could be a great for putting all those legacy original Ardupilots to use. I've been hoping to find an excuse to upgrade to APM, but having an old AP lying around doing nothing has been putting me off :)



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