Inspired 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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Comment by John Arne Birkeland on January 29, 2011 at 12:59pm

Looking forward to see what we can come up with. There lots of exciting stuff we can try on the ground that is just not sensible to try out in the air (at first).

I just completed the video for my first remote exploring mission today. Nothing fancy or long range. Just trying to get a feel for it. Also discovered a nasty problem when keeping it down to earth. Dog poo...

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 29, 2011 at 2:08pm
Johann, it's the same as the 1/8 Redcat I linked above.
Comment by Jack Crossfire on January 29, 2011 at 2:28pm
Unfortunately our ground rover is neither Ardu branded nor $159.
Comment by Ron Jacobs on January 29, 2011 at 2:32pm

Would a metal frame be designed or included off-the -shelf so as to make it a super robust platform from the start?

Comment by Roberto Navoni on January 29, 2011 at 2:40pm

Dear Friends,

this rover need hybrid quad on it for jump the obstacle .. :)

This is my old idea ...


Comment by T.D. Gonzales on January 29, 2011 at 2:47pm
I'm still having issues with a UGV platform costing more than a UAV platform.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 29, 2011 at 2:58pm
I made that metal platform in about four minutes, but we could easily make and sell a laser-cut one (probably acrylic). It should cost about $10.

Comment by Martint on January 29, 2011 at 3:07pm

Looks like this could be great fun for those days where the wind is a little to strong to fly, kind of like it as a FPDV (first person driving view). APM would be good to have to!


Comment by T.D. Gonzales on January 29, 2011 at 3:09pm

No I was thinking about the RC crawler. Yeah it looks like it is built really well and has a lot of design, but it just seems like ground should be cheaper than flight. 


The code for ground is going to be a lot harder though. Well sensors and signal processing is anyway. 

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on January 29, 2011 at 3:09pm

In the long run we should consider moving the ESC and make room for a custom box fitting the frame, that contain the ardu electronics. It is just a matter of time before you roll the rover. Electronics and wet mud don't mix well.

I am also seriously considering scrapping the ESC and getting a new one. The constant noise from the cooling fan is driving me crazy.


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