With the world how it is, space exploration is needed. In order to explore this great frontier, there needs be greater mobility in our vehicles. We set out to redesign the wheel for better reliability.
What It Does
We created a more durable wheel better fit for the rugged terrain of Mars. We were trying to tackle the issue of the lifespan of certain tires seen on the Mars Curiosity Rover.
How we built it
A 3-D printer was mainly used with TPU to make the new wheels. An Arduino Uno was used with the solenoids to make a proactive shock system.
Challenges We Ran Into
The printer showed some difficulty with the allotted time constraints and the design of the wheel. The thermistor on the printer also gave out in the middle of a printing job, so the printer had to be repaired as fast as possible to make up for lost uptime.
Accomplishments That We're Proud Of
We got two of the wheels printed well enough to show our initial concept design. We also got two ultrasonic sensors connected to the solenoids via the Arduino in order to apply the shock system for for the rover.
What we learned
We learned all the limitations provided by a tire when they can't be replaced after however many miles. We tried to create a tire that could adjust flexibility depending on the terrain detected and will deform around the obstruction.
What's next for Curiouser Rover
The design had to be reduced in size in order to accommodate printing time, as well as reasonable cost constraint, so we weren't able to actually connect the proactive shock system .