In between aircraft I built this rover.  It is a Traxxas Slash frame with a piece of 1/8" aircraft plywood on top for an electronics platform.  The plywood measures 16.5" x 6.5".  It was super easy to build.  In the next few days I will finish configuring the electronics, update and confirgure the software and test it out.  If anybody has any related tips or experiences they would like to share I would be happy to hear them.  I will post updates when I have it running.

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3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on April 4, 2012 at 8:28pm

Excellent. I've done much the same, but haven't loaded the software yet. Looking forward to following in your footsteps!

Comment by Anis Nielsen on April 4, 2012 at 8:50pm

oh oh, now i want to build one, great way to recycle apm 1 :D

Comment by Earl on April 4, 2012 at 8:51pm

looks like a great way to test the APM2 and all other hardware before putting it in a plane or copter.


Comment by Anis Nielsen on April 4, 2012 at 8:57pm

Do you think it will RTH, waypoint and why not, gyrobalance a cam to allow fluid cam movement ?

adding sonar 360 around would allow obstacle avoidance ? too bad i can't code C

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on April 5, 2012 at 4:21am


Nice work. Looks like a very clean installation.

I have put together a Traxxas E-Maxx from pieces bought off of eBay. I have been planning to use either a Parallax Propeller or an Arduino Mega. I have several APM 1.4s laying around that might work. Like you, I use the body mounting towers to mount a platform (15" X 8") above the chassis. I modified the body mounting towers to get them to be as low as possible on the shock towers and had to cut a clearance hole in the plate to clear the transmission. I presently reside in TX, but am retiring to Ft. Lauderdale, FL in about three months. If there is anyone in the Ft. Lauderdale area posting to this thread, I would be definitely interested in working on this project with them. Will definitely follow this thread.



Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 5, 2012 at 8:51am

Interesting.  I've been curious to try the Rover software, but I'm just not sure what the status is.  I've got a rock crawler chassis I'd love to put it on.  But whenever I look at it, it seems the Rover side of things is a little bit "dead". It seems like the PID stuff is hard coded with #defines, making it difficult to tune, ie: can't do it over Mission Planner?

Is anybody even working on this anymore?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on April 5, 2012 at 9:02am

James Goppert is the lead on that. I'll ping him and see what the status is..

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on April 5, 2012 at 9:38am

Hi all,

Here is a link to a rover on Robot Magazine:

The code for this rover should be available in May. The rover uses an Arduino Uno and Parallax Ping distance sensors. Since UGVs cannot usually go in a straight line to the next waypoint, obstacle avoidance should have priority over navigation.

Here is another link to a rover project that combined navigation and obstacle avoidance and is quite complex:

I would definitely recommend programming a subsumption process to allow the rover to navigate and avoid obstacles.



Comment by Dave on April 5, 2012 at 11:01am

After I finish my hexacopter it was always my plan to build a rover. I look forward to your updates.

Comment by Dez Socks on April 5, 2012 at 11:03am

What a coincidence i am working on something similar.Its a relief to not be worried about weight which makes the process so much easier.I used a cheaper car frame,tore out the electronics and substituted my own.What Vtx are you using?Do you have any heat issues?I used soda cans as my aluminium source for a heat sink.


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