The 4tronix M.A.R.S. Rover is loosely based on the Curiosity and Mars 2020 rovers from NASA/JPL. It uses the same rocker arm, bogey and differential arm mechanism.
The kit is packed in 10 bags, which should be assembled in order as follows
- Side pack. PCBs and screws to assemble both side pieces of the main body
- Brains (Top) Pack. This PCB houses all the electronics and together with the side pieces (1) forms the structural body of the 4tronix Mars Rover
- Rocker Pack. These 2 rocker arms are pivoted on the screws fitted into each side piece. Each rocker arm carries a single servo for a front corner wheel assembly
- Bogey Pack. These two rear bogeys carry the centre and rear wheels for each side. The rear corner wheels are steered with a servo
- Servo Pack. This contains 4 metal gear micro servos together with screws to fix them into the Rockers and Bogeys
- Differential Arm Pack: The differential arm and couplers joins the two Rockers in such a way that it tries to keep the main body level (side to side) as one side or the other traverses uneven terrain. In earlier NASA Mars Rovers, this arm was replaced by a differential gear train, but the arm was found to be simpler and less prone to failures.
- Corner Wheels Pack. Each corner wheel is steered by its own servo. This pack contains the PCBs and screws needed to connect all four of the motor mounts to the servos
- Motors Pack. This includes the 6 motors, each ready-wired with a JST connector lead which plugs into the underneath of the main brains board. Plastic mounting brackets and associated screws are also included
- Wheels Pack: Six wheels. Just push them onto the motors. You must enusre that the D-shaped axle is aligned with the D-shaped hole in the wheel
- Mast Pack. Includes another servo, the mast base and a plug-in mast head with an ultrasonic sensor and some LEDs.
There is a Makecode extension that makes it easy to control the unit. More features are still being added.
The M.A.R.S. Rover requires 4 good quality rechargeable batteries (not included).