Happy new year from Taylor and Rover at reboot!
Rover has gotten some big upgrades over Christmas break, with the first autonomy kit installed today.
Rover V1 was completed one year ago, and I still love to watch the video and remember that day:
2018 saw the development of Skittles, a classroom style robot that uses the same architecture as Rover but with a lot less complexity and cost. A review of its systems is here:
I taught a robotics class on the other side of the world in March. It was the greatest experience of my life. A playlist captures that here:
After the robotics class I had six weeks before Maker Faire. I managed to design Rover V2 in that time and made a fun booth.
Rover V2 came to life, but saw gearbox failures after about a kilometer of driving.
I built a gearbox test stand and after two iterations came up with a gearbox design that went ten simulated kilometers on that stand:
After several prototypes throughout the year, I’ve made progress on the simulator for Rover’s planned trail following feature:
Recently I’ve built four more of those new gearboxes, and got Rover running with them. I’ve also designed a new chassis with features to mount a deck lid above the existing chassis. This allows me to mount additional equipment on the top of Rover, and I’ve just installed an NVIDIA Xavier robotics computer and a pair of stereo cameras - one front, one rear. As we move in to 2019, Rover looks towards autonomy.
Our community has grown. I’ve published a book about Reboot. We’re getting a few bites of interest. And the Rover project continues. Thank you to all who post here. It’s warms my heart to see others who like the idea of robots for good.
Happy new year.