Instytut Mechaniki i Podstaw Konstrukcji Maszyn

PCz Rover Team

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Current Team members:

  • Maciej Pierzgalski – Team Leader
  • Piotr Ptak – Team Leader
  • Grzegorz Cichoń
  • Radosław Krawczyk
  • Kamil Kwiatkowski
  • Marcin Skotniczny
  • Bartłomiej Skuza
  • Mikołaj Złotkowski

Our Team consists of students The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science of Czestochowa University of Technology within field of study such as: Mechatronics and Mechanics and Machine Construction, and our team advisors are dr hab. inż. Dawid Cekus prof. PCz, dr inż. Paweł Waryś and dr inż. Krzysztof Sokół.

We are members of Scientific Society of Computer Aided Design of Mechatronics Devices and Machines.

Our achievements:

INFINITY Rover

Our CRITICAL DESIGN REVIEW Video sent to University Rover Challenge 2016 is available on the website at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCMyRqiwcZI

Our Presentation Task sent to University Rover Challenge 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M9YgbXHW8I

Our CRITICAL DESIGN REVIEW Video is available on the website at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDNZKLT-ozw

Solutions

Infinity Rover has six wheels with 8 inch terrain tires. Each one has independent propulsion. We are using Maxon motors with gear with 43:1 ratio, each package is delivering 3 Nm of torque. Rover is able to reach maximum speed of 8 km/h.

We are using CAD/CAE programs as SolidWorks, NX, CATIA v5 to carry out of geometry our rover design. Each major parts of rover have been calculated with the help of Finite Element Method to determine stress and displacement values. Basing on this calculations we were able to create very stiff and light elements and reduce weight more than 35%.

To make construction as light as possible major parts are made from 2017A aluminum which is three times lighter than steel. We used laser cut technology to cut whole rover structure from aluminum metal sheet. Main frame and rockers are welded. Rover rims are made from polyamide. Total weight of fully equipped rover is 43 kilograms.

Rear rocker arms are supported on bicycle shock absorbers, they are quite light and very durable, they spring stiffness are adjustable.

To propel our manipulator we are using electric actuators. Manipulator has lifting capacity of 5 kilograms. Our gripper is able to grab the most types of objects and take different soil samples.

To power rover we are using two gel batteries, which gives in total 24 volts and capacity of 9 Ah. Rover is able to operate more than one hour without concerns of losing power.

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Control and vision systems

To control our rover in the field we are using RC which operates at 2.4 GHz frequency. Basing on this we are able to control rover at distance more than 1 km. Rover receiver antennas are mounted high above ground to improve range of communication.

For vision system we are using several digital cameras mounted in different positions on rover. Two of them are installed on servos to achieve wide field of vision. This allow us to rotate cameras +/- 50 degrees. One camera has IR LED’s installed so rover can operate in lack of lighting conditions. Image from cameras is transmitted by radio waves with 5.8 GHz frequency.

To navigate in the field we are using GPS with cooperation with magnetometer.

To control our rover we are using AVR microcontrollers, it is cheap, simple and reliable solution.

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Work in progress

To participate in University Rover Challenge 2015 we are planning to enhance manipulator and gripper functionality. Modifications will include the adding of two additional drives to rotate and incline of the gripper.

Control programs and electrical installations will also improved and extended. We care about also to improve reliability.

We are planning the gel batteries replace by lithium-polymer batteries, which are lighter and have more current efficiency.

Testing

Currently we are running a lot of tests. The determination of durability, ranges of communications and power consumption is the main subject of tests. We are also working on control algorithms.

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Our sponsors:

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