Sawppy the rover

At some point last year I discovered that NASA had released some plans for an Open Source build-it-yourself rover, based on the Curiosity design.

Feel free to take a look at it here.

Even though it uses mostly off the shelf parts, the estimated cost to make yourself one still comes in at around $2500 (or about £1900). That’s pretty cool, but still a little expensive for my tastes. If only I could get myself one for cheaper, I would definitely make it!

Luckily, as I was browsing the rover’s forums, I spotted someone who had the same feelings regarding the cost, had the experience of building one of these rovers already and had designed and built a new rover using 3D printed components!

Hence, the rover Sawppy was born. By using 3D printed components and aluminium extrusions where possible, then replacing the motors with much cheaper continuous rotation servos, this has brought the price down to a much more manageable $500 (about £380). Now that’s a price I can get behind. Combine that with the the combination of 3D printing, electronics and the astronomy angle, then it’s all of my interests combined.

I need to have one of these, so I’ll do my best to document the build here over the coming weeks and see if that $500 estimate works for over here in the UK!

Thanks Roger. Here’s a shot of Roger’s Sawppy in action:

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