Mars rover equipped with a new arm with a bucket. Design by FMEST students | Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Ship Technology at the Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2023-04-17

Mars rover equipped with a new arm with a bucket. Design by FMEST students

Mars rover equipped with a new arm with a bucket. Design by FMEST students
Students of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Ship Technology are developing the design of Mars rover – Positivity Mars Rover. Now, thanks to a new robotic arm equipped with a bucket, the rover will be able to collect loose material for tests.    

Mars rover presented by the students is the continuation of last year’s work. We already wrote about it on our website. This version has some new components and a brand new control application.

The arm with the bucket allows collecting loose material for tests. There is also a rotating container with lid and embedded sensors. It will be used to store the collected material and initial tests of its temperature, humidity and colour. The container is connected with tensometric beam to allow weighing the material it contains. It was necessary to extend the body of the rover to create a housing for the arm power system and gain room for the container and necessary electronic components – says Natalia Pęczek, a student of the Space and Satellite Technologies course.

About the rover

The body of the rover is a cuboid measuring 320x170x90 mm. Its frame is made of aluminium profiles in the shape of a square pipe measuring 13x13x1mm and connected with the aid of plastic connectors. The majority of components was 3D-printed.

The rover is able to negotiate hills with 45 degree slope and other obstacles whose height equals the diameter of its wheel. It is remote-controlled without maintaining the eye contact and it can conduct contactless measurement of the temperature of the examined surface and surroundings.

We still use an app to control the rover, however, it was created from scratch, to incorporate an integrated control system for the rover and the robotic arm. Previously it was communicating via Bluetooth, now it uses WiFi.

The project, however, does not end at this stage – every year the rover will be extended by the next groups of students. Further stages of its development will include, for example, adding and connecting a new array of sensors.

This iteration of the rover was designed by the team consisting of: Radosław Paluch, Jarosław Bartkowski, Franciszek Sobiech, Natalia Pęczek and Szymon Słonina.

Positivity Mars Rover project was supervised by professor Piotr Mioduszewski, PhD, DSc, ME.