NASA Sample Return Robot

This robot is one of my most recent ones and at this point is still unfinished. I am slowly working towards building a robot to the specs of NASA’s Sample Return Robot competition. This robot is the biggest robot that I have personally built in its entirety and weighs in at 125 pounds. I don’t know if I will ever actually enter it into the Sample Return Robot competition because it might be won before I am even ready but event if I don't 'finish' in time, it will make an excellent platform to test all sorts of ideas that I have wanted to play around with over the years.

I designed this robot in Solidworks and have used my CNC router to cut some of the more complex parts. The remainder of the machining I have done by hand. I welded the parts together with a MIG welder with a spool gun attachment, which isn't ideal but it works. I'm currently in the process of designing an extendable camera boom that will allow the robot to get a view of its surroundings from a higher perspective. I have also designed several of its circuit boards to: read the motor positions, control the motors, act as a hub to send and receive data to/from all of its peripheral processors and the host computer, receive wireless commands, and a final board to replace the electronics in a PC joystick to make it a remote control for the robot (for its initial stages).

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