Tharsis, our bot was named after a large crater on Mars. Our bot has a common interface which is compatible with all of our attachments. Though the interface is simple, it works very well and efficiently. Even with the interface, some attachments need to connect in different parts of the robot. Our bot is modeled off a “Jiffybot” which is essentially a modified LEGO “Roverbot.” Essentially, the difference between the Jiffybot and the Roverbot is that the Jiffybot does not have the vertical supports of the Roverbot. The main difference of Tharsus and Roverbot is that the Jiffybot has the wheels of a Roverbot (two medium-large drive wheels and four small drive wheels with large tires) while Tharsus has two large wheels. All of the gear ratios are the same though.
Tetrahedron Base and Solar Dusting
Our Solar Dusting attachment was designed by Gabe and Zach 2 It is essentially a “brush” that sweeps just over the surface of the panel to knock off all of the dust. It starts standing vertically and falls horizontally when the bot begins to descend the ramp due to the slightly uneven surface.
The MAV Launcher attachment designed by Walker is basically a basket that can be tipped by an attached plate causing the ball to drop in. After dropping the ball, the robot keeps moving forward in order to launch the ball.
The Habitation Modules passed through a few hands before it got where it is. It was originally Jeremy’s challenge when Greg realized that it could be improved. Greg began to help Jeremy. After a while, Greg and Jeremy got fed up with the programming and passed the job to Gabe who had recently finished his Solar Dusting attachment. The Habitation Module attachment is like a tube with a rod sticking through it. One end of the rod is connected to the Habitation Modules while the other is sticking most of the way through the tube. When the bot backs up, the habitation modules are left behind.
The Ice Cores is an interesting attachment. Our original design was a lance with ridges to stick through the cores. We then created another design that turned out to be great. Basically, it uses the short bent beams with no studs to lock the Ice Cores in place. Even if that part of the attachment doesn’t work, we have a beam with axle-hole to help keep the cores on.
Our Rover Recovery attachment is a claw that grabs the rover from the crater. Occasionally, it takes the crater with it.It was originally designed by Zach H. Then, Jake worked on it for the remainder.
Here are some of our old attachments and chassis designs: