The open-source community has taken the initiative to refresh the design of NASA-JPL’s rocker-bogie rover, making it cheaper and more accessible than ever before. The original design was impressive but expensive and challenging to build. However, the new version, developed by the community itself, focuses on using off-the-shelf parts to reduce costs.
One of the main reasons for the redesign was the scarcity and high cost of certain components in the original design. Many parts had become prohibitively expensive, gone out of stock, or discontinued entirely. By utilizing readily available parts, the new model significantly brings down the cost of building the rover. While the original design could cost up to $3000, the new model slashes that price by almost half.
Another key optimization in the new design is the elimination of any custom fabricated parts. There is no longer a need for machined or 3D printed components, making it more accessible for individuals without specialized manufacturing capabilities. Additionally, unnecessary features, such as the rover’s head, have been removed, making the design more streamlined for various applications.
Furthermore, the community has improved the rover’s fluid and dust ingress protection, enhancing its durability and reliability. The new design also allows for better serviceability, making it easier to maintain and repair the rover when needed.
For those interested in building their own rover, parts lists can be found on GitHub. Alternatively, the original design can be explored for further details. The updated model can even be loaded in OnShape for inspection or customization.
Overall, the refreshed design of the open-source rover has made it more affordable and accessible, enabling a wider range of enthusiasts to engage with this exciting project. By leveraging off-the-shelf parts and focusing on practicality, the community has enhanced the overall user experience of the rover, making it easier for individuals to build and modify according to their needs.