Categories: Curiosity

Now You Can Build Your Own Curiosity Rover

The open source movement has been a fixture in the software and electronics worlds for over a decade now.  Open source components serve as the basis from everything from 3D printed Iron Man figures to the Linux computer operating system.  Now there’s a new open source project that ambitious creatives can undertake: building their very own Mars Curiosity Rover.

The project is the brainchild of Jakob Krantz, who has hosted the project on Github, a common repository for open source projects.  All the components needed to recreate the scale model of the rover are available for free, including drawings for 3D printing the housing and code to run the rover’s functional camera.

Full CAD model of the Open Source Curiosity. Credit: Jakob Krantz

Jakob has been working on the project for a number of years at this point, and his efforts are being tracked by Hackaday, one of the Meccas of the maker movement.  His progress has proved steady, recently integrating custom controls and data reporting via a smartphone app, and interfacing with the rover using ESP32 and LoRa, two common long distance wireless communication techniques.  

Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) the open-source version of the rover scales it down from the size of a full sized car to a frame slightly larger than a RC car.  It’s also missing some key components of the rover currently trundling around Mars, such as the thermal radioisotope generator (replaced by a set of lithium ion batteries). 

Though all the main components are in place, there are still lots of tweaks needed to make the open-source version of Curiosity as fully functional as it’s larger cousin, including implementing kinematics to control the motion of the robotic arm.  Given Jackob’s steady and consistent progress, there’s a real possibility that there could be a fully functional scaled down version of the Curiosity rover roaming around the local Maker Faire in the next few years. If you want to learn more, or want to contribute directly to this open source project, you can check out the Rover’s Github page.

The Curiosity Rover build on Jakob’s workbench. Credit: Jakob Krantz

Learn More:

Hackaday: Source Article
Hackaday: Original Article 
Github: Rover Repository
Github: Controller Repository

Andy Tomaswick

Recent Posts

Astronomers Might Have Detected the Background Gravitational Waves of the Universe

A new data release from a gravitational wave consortium has revealed indications of the long…

29 mins ago

A Worldwide Search for Dark Matter Fails to Turn up a Signal for This Mysterious Particle

A global search for dark matter turns up nothing, but than in itself is useful.

4 hours ago

With Webb Safely Launched, Focus Shifts to the Ariane 6

Last month, an Ariane 5 rocket carried the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) safely to…

5 hours ago

Curiosity Sees a Strong Carbon Signature in a Bed of Rocks

Carbon is critical to life, as far as we know. So anytime we detect a…

2 days ago

Bad Weather Postpones Ingenuity’s 19th Flight on Mars

The first flight of 2022 for the Ingenuity Helicopter has been delayed due to a…

2 days ago

If Launched by 2028, a Spacecraft Could Catch up With Oumuamua in 26 Years

A new study by the Institute of Interstellar Studies (i4is) shows that with the right…

3 days ago