We are happy to announce the release of our open source rover powered by ROS.
We are working in the Planetary Robotics Laboratory of the European Space Agency and developed ExoMy for enthusiasts and educational use. The rover is completely 3D-printed and uses of-the-shelve components so it can easily be built. It features a complete set of building instructions in our wiki.
Usage of ROS
We are using the Ubuntu 18.04 with ROS melodic binaries. The native installation of a specific Ubuntu version on a specific Raspberry Pi version can be difficult. Thus, we installed Raspberry Pi OS on the Raspberry Pi 4 and are running an Ubuntu Docker image with the ROS installation. This makes the installation of the software stack a breeze and allows it to be used on any Raspberry Pi.
Features of the Rover
Using a custom web interface or a gamepad, it is possible to teleoperate the rover in three modes (crabbing, ackermann and spot turn). The rover has a triple-bogie locomotion subsystem which allows it to overcome obstacles as big as it’s wheels.
The camera can be used for the teleoperation and in future work for computer vision.
Let us know what you think!