NASA and other space agencies around the world have been building rovers that explore other planets for decades. One thing those rovers have in common is an incredibly high price tag, often running into millions of dollars. Space enthusiasts that want a new electronics project to work on during the coronavirus pandemic should check out the ExoMy rover unveiled by the European Space Agency.
While the ExoMy rover is meant to be cute and appeal to all generations interested in space, it’s an adaptation of the ESA Rosalind Franklin, previously known as the ExoMars rover. ExoMy is a DIY project that anyone can build featuring a triple bogey suspension design and six wheels.
Each of those six wheels can be steered making the rover highly agile. It’s not exactly a cheap robot to build with a price range of between €250 and €500. For those who want to undertake a project, the instructions are posted on GitHub. Builders will need a 3D printer for the project.
ExoMy’s brain is a Raspberry Pie, and the software stack is configured for remote control. However, the Robot Operating System would allow those who want the rover to be autonomous to build in some features. The completed device measures 300 by 390 by 420 millimeters and weighs 2.5 kilograms. It can run for three hours per battery charge, and the rover is 100 percent open source.
ExoMy isn’t the first DIY rover designed to use 3D printing and electronics to build something cool. A larger rover project modeled after the Curiosity rover is available online as well. For those unfamiliar with the ESA Rosalind Franklin rover, it was supposed to head to Mars this year. However, the coronavirus pandemic resulted in the rover missing its launch window and being delayed until next year.