Mustachioed Rover Simultaneously Manly, Adorable

[Rick], an Adafruit learning system contributor, is excited by the implications of STEM’s reach into K-12 education. He was inspired to design Red Rover, a low-cost robot that can be easily replicated by anyone with access to a 3-D printer.

This adorable autonomous rover is based on the adafruit Trinket microcontroller, but will also rove under the power of an Arduino micro. It really is quite simple—the Trinket drives two continuous rotation micro servos and pretty much any flavor of rangefinder you like. [Rick] tested it with Parallax PING))), Maxbotix, and Grove sensors, and they all worked just fine.

What’s truly awesome about Red Rover are the track treads. [Rick] initially experimented with flexible filament. While he had good results, it was not a cost-effective solution. What you see in the picture and the short video after the break are actually rubber bracelets from Oriental Trading.

The plastic part count comes in at seven, all of which can be printed together at once. [Rick]’s gallery includes both small and large chassis and three different servo mounts. The Red Rover guide builds on other adafruit guides for Trinket general use, servo modification, and Trinket-specific servo control.

Update: Added [Rick]’s demo video after the break!


[thanks Phil]

24 thoughts on “Mustachioed Rover Simultaneously Manly, Adorable

  1. FYI:
    I really love using those bracelets for tracks. Unfotunately, that online shop doesn’t seem to ship to Europe. I tried to search the Ebay and this looks very similar . Seems like “12 Neon Chain silicone Bracelets” is good search phrase for Ebay, if the link above gets inactive.

      1. Just for the record, these just arrived in the post and they are a little larger than the ones used in the original project. They vary slightly in the design, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem.

        Now I need to make a second chassis, anyone know where the source files are for this, the stl is hard to manipulate.

  2. That is awesome, I essentially built the same type of robot back in college. Somewhere before Arduino had become a thing. Forged from a Tamiya gearbox/track kit, two protoboards and powered by an Atmel chip freshly plucked from an STK-500.

    Sorta amazing to look at the advancement that has occurred in such a relatively short period of time. I have to admit I’m certainly a little jelly lol

  3. Cute. And those tracks are cool. Great idea on the cheap source!

    But I wonder about the diagonal tread pattern. If the tracks struggle for traction, wouldn’t the asymmetric pattern cause it to yaw unexpectedly? That might be improved by having the tracks reversed, so each angles in a different direction. But I still wonder if there might be issues when only one track slips.

    Still, at less than .80/each, that is crazy cheap.

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