This is an entirely solar-powered autonomous Mindstorms robot.
- It runs off a self-recharging energy store.
- It monitors and handles its own solar charging and thriftily regulates its expenditure of energy.
- It is equipped with a retractable Mindstorms Geiger counter radiation detector.
- Sensor tower rotates 45 degrees in either direction.
- Bumper sensors
- Differential drive steering
- Lots of custom electric Lego bricks to handle the above stuff (and more)
Unlike the early rovers, everything on this rover works well.
The rover at Brickcon. The yellow tube is the extended Geiger-counter sensor. It is the second Mindstorms Gieger counter I have built. It is much larger (and thus more sensitive) than the first.
The brown Lego rock on the ground that the rover has found contains a uranium-ore-bearing mineral.
The rover interior with the solar panel removed. (The Geiger counter is not installed here - this picture was taken before I'd build that part)
The front in this picture became the back - I modified the rover to accept the geiger counter, and there wasn't space to mount it in the front (where the RCX is) so I turned stuff around and made the back into the front. The EnergyCan at the back was removed and replaced by the Version 2 EnergyCan - designed to fit in the battery compartment of the RCX, thus freeing all that space at the rear in which to mount the Geiger counter.
Geiger tube retracting.
At Brickcon, I used these halogen worklamps to create portable indoor sunlight. Nowhere near as good as real sunlight, but you do what you have to do.
Other keywords: NASA, explorer, exploration, Sojourner, Spirit, Mars, Opportunity, 7471,
this is amazing...such a different use of lego than what i do!!!:) As a kid i always dreamt that lego would make a solar panel plate so that my monorail would never run out of batteries:) but i dont think they will ever do such a thing...
Congratulations anyway for this wonder of robotic engineering!