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Stardate 2011.07.16 (Saturday) - Surmounting the Ridge

posted Aug 17, 2011, 6:14 PM by Anant Narayanan

On Saturday, Minyoung and Rohit worked for half a day, while Gabriel went back to Ocean City for a family gathering. 

Today, we put together the lunar landscape and pondered how to overcome the only barrier in our way to glory: the ridge and crater.  Everything else would be a piece of cake.  We just needed to be able to overcome the ridge and be able to program the robot to do so, and then we would be able to plan more and do more.

By the end of the day, we concluded that we should try one of two options; either use Barcelona Moon’s 6-wheel independent suspension system that lets each wheel move independently, or try out an idea (used by some others) using two treads and four wheels per side.  In the second idea, the wheels are attached rigidly to the frame.

This rigid traction system uses three axles.  On each side, we put one wheel on the first axle, put two on the second, and put the last wheel on the third axle. We connect the first wheel using one tread to one of the wheels on the second axle.  We use a second tread to connect the second wheel on the middle axle to the wheel on the last axle.  We built physical and virtual models (using Lego Digital Designer aka LDD) to try the ideas out.  These were our two best ideas for overcoming the ridge.

We also realized that we need to build the rover with the LEGO Mindstorms® Brick and motors before attaching them to the wheels.