Foster A Robot, Explore Your Home Planet

The robots we’ve sent to explore other worlds in our stead are impressive feats of engineering. But stuck at the bottom of our gravity well as we are, they are fantastically expensive ventures that are out of reach of the DIY community. There’s still plenty to explore right in your own backyard, though, and this robot needs your help to explore planet Earth.

The project is called RoboSpatium, and it’s the brainchild of [Norbert Heinz]. The idea is a little like HitchBot except it will be sent from host to host by mail. (And it’s an actual robot, and not just brains in a bucket.) Hopefully each host will have something interesting for the robot to do for the 24 hours allotted, like explore a local landmark, get a robot-eye view of the goings on in a hackerspace, or just watch the sunset in some beautiful spot. Project participants will get to drive the robot via a web interface and do a little virtual exploration of a part of the world they might never otherwise get to see.

We gather that the robot in the video below is only a prototype at this point, and that the sensor suite and mechanicals have yet to be sorted out. Hackaday regulars will no doubt know [Norbert] better as the excellently accented [HomoFaciens], creator of dumpster-sourced CNC machines, encoders made from tin can lids and wheels of resistors, and a potentially self-replicating CNC plotter. [Norbert] has the hacker chops to pull this off, and we think it’s a pretty neat idea with the potential to engage and educate a lot of people. We think it could do with a little support from the Hackaday community.

9 thoughts on “Foster A Robot, Explore Your Home Planet

  1. Thanks Dan for promoting my robot world tour!
    It’s also on Hackaday for all Citizen Scientists:
    Tomorrow (June 25th 2016) will be the first public test run in Lemiers, Netherlands. It’s the EUREGIO MAKERSPACE: GRAND OPENING.
    The event starts at 11:00CEST (UTC+2) with open end. The batteries won’t last for all the day, thus there will be breaks when recharging the robot or for some demonstrations of the interior. If you can’t come to Lemiers, visit the event through the camera eyes of R5:

  2. I’d happily host it if it wants to visit Leeds; I can probably let it loose round the university engineering department. Probably best done before we get round to actually leaving europe…

    1. Well, Leeds won’t leave Europe or did I miss the news that you found a way to take influence on the continental drift? ;-)
      I’d bee happy to see the robot driving in your university department. Send a mail to landing-area[at) to discuss the details of your mission.

    1. It all would happen much faster if I could find a company or a larger number of individuals that are willing to pay me for the hours of work needed to create videos. Currently I have to earn money besides educating people all over the world for free…

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