NASA and other space agencies around the world have been building probes to explore other planets for decades. One thing these rovers have in common is that they are very expensive to build, often in the millions of dollars. During the new crown pandemic, space enthusiasts who want a new electronics project should take a look at the ExoMy rover launched by ESA.
Although the ExoMy rover is designed to appeal to all those interested in space, it is based on the ESA Mars rover Rosalind Franklin, formerly known as the ExoMars rover. ExoMy is a DIY project that anyone can create and features a three-story suspension design and six wheels.
Each of the six wheels can be steered, making the rover highly flexible. The robot is not cheap to make, with prices between 250 and 500 euros. For those who want to work on the project, the instructions are posted on GitHub. The builder needed a 3D printer to complete the project.
ExoMy’s “brain” uses raspberry pi, and the software stack is configured for remote control. However, the robotic operating system will allow those who want to own their own rover to build some features. The finished equipment measures 300 x 390 x 420 mm and weighs 2.5 kg. The rover is 100% open source for up to three hours on battery charge.
ExoMy isn’t the first DIY rover to use 3D printing and electronics to create something cool. There is also a larger rover project on the Internet based on the Curiosity rover. ESA’s Rosalind Franklin Mars rover was due to travel to Mars this year. However, the new crown pandemic caused the probe to miss the launch window and was delayed until next year.