If you want to build some sort of miniature autonomous or remote control vehicle, you might start with a commercially available chassis and modify the electronics, or perhaps even the mechanical components. Though this can be a great solution, at some point you might wonder if starting from scratch would be a better way to pursue this. Rick Winscot decided to take this route, 3D printing his rover chassis and installing his own electronics. He even made the threaded rods he needed using a die set and lengths of brass rod!
The resulting “RO-V” or “remote operated vehicle” takes its inspiration from rovers meant to explore other planets like Mars, and as such is set up for communication instead of speed. Operator feedback is via a wireless router, and a webcam mounted on an interesting aiming mechanism. Computing power is provided by a BeagleBone Black, which enables the vehicle to roam under FPV control, or autonomously if needed.
The rover builds on the work of people at the OpenRC project (so not entirely “from scratch”), but several changes were made to accommodate the device’s needs. It’s a great looking device, but before you jump into making your own, Winscot warns that you should review the whole project, as it’s rather involved. Presuming that doesn’t scare you, the project’s Instructables article gives a good overview, and you can find the 3D model here, as well as the code he used on GitHub.
A Remotely Operated Vehicle Built Nearly From Scratch was originally published in Hackster’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.