How to Build a Mars Rover Replica with Electric Imp and Arduino

Have you ever wanted to build replicas of rovers NASA employs for exploring foreign planets? Or maybe are you looking for a high mobility wheeled platform solution for your projects, capable of travelling over various kinds of terrain?

Well look no further, recently we stumbled upon a very interesting Instructable about how to build your very own functional Mars rover replica, which you can also remote control from any mobile device or computer browser.

Remote controllable Mars Rover Replica

Mars rover replica | Photo source

Created by the Product Design Research Studio, a group of students and researchers at the University of Dundee, UK, the six wheeled robot, inspired by the Curiosity Martian rover, can be built by using off-the-shelf components and electronics, as well as cleverly implemented household parts and materials.

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Arduino Simulators Lineup — Start Developing Without a Real Board

Launched in 2005, the Arduino open hardware and software platform has grown to be very popular among hobbyists, educators, and professionals alike, gaining momentum especially in the robotics field. Backed by a massive online community, and with most development boards and hardware accessories available at very low prices, this platform is perhaps the best place to start in working with embedded devices. But what if you want to learn programming and do not own an Arduino board, or are overwhelmed by the selection of hardware out there? This is where simulation software comes in.

Virtual Breadboard work area

Virtual Breadboard work area

These products generally create a virtual environment in which not only can you write code but you can also create electronic circuits to test the behavior of your code. In the selection of software presented below you will notice that very different sets of features are offered by each application. Some offer vast libraries of hardware to select from, while others allow you to develop in visual environments and show results in graphical form, while others plot graphs and display data sets.

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BrickPi – Control Your LEGO Mindstorms Robots with Raspberry Pi

Thanks to the myriad of embedded development boards available, nowadays it is easier than ever to build things in your own household. From extremely simple connected switches or relays for home automation purposes, to more advanced fully fledged robots, only sky is the limit, and since additive manufacturing has become mainstream and accessible, you can 3D print virtually any physical part you need for your project.

But what if you could combine the unique way of building with LEGO bricks with the power and versatility offered by the Raspberry Pi embedded board?

BrickPi in action

BrickPi in action | Photo: DexterInd

Created by American company Dexter Industries, BrickPi is a two-part system that allows you to bring these two amazing development platforms together. It allows you to connect LEGO Mindstorms motors and sensors to the Raspberry Pi, as well as mount the whole assembly to your project with LEGO Technic bricks and parts.

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JIBO, World’s First Family Robot Is Preparing to Meet You

Created by MIT’s robotics professor Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, JIBO is a highly interactive social robot designed to help and assist all members of your family in their activities, thanks to its broad range of features or skills. Unlike today’s smart assistant systems and devices JIBO has a personality, it aims to act and feel almost like it were a member of the family rather than just another device lying around the house. Dr. Breazeal, a pioneer in the social robotics field, hopes that JIBO will have a major impact on how people perceive new technologies and their benefits.

JIBO Family Robot

JIBO Family Robot | Photo: JIBO

It seems that part of the job is already done, started in July this year, with a goal of US$100,000, the crowdfunding campaign for JIBO ended this week raising almost US$2.3 million from over 5500 supporters, and went straight into the top 5 most funded campaigns on Indiegogo.

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Wyliodrin – Visual Programming Environment for Your Intel Galileo and Raspberry Pi

Wyliodrin is a web-based service that offers a visual IDE for your development boards. It is accessible directly from any browser and is compatible with Raspberry Pi, ZedBoard and recently the 2nd generation Intel Galileo platforms, with only minimal configuration requirements for your board. Wyliodrin is well suited for beginners, who can start creating their programs right away by using a language simply called Visual Programming, fairly similar to the better known Scratch. Advanced users can choose from over 10 languages to program their applications, and can also open consoles with their device’s shell directly from the web browser.

wyliodrin

Setting up your board with Wyliodrin is pretty simple and straightforward, a board specific image and a configuration file need to be downloaded and transferred to a SD card. Insert the card into your Raspi or Galileo, power the board up and make sure the internet connection is working. Next up log into you Wyliodrin account to get the board registered and that is it, no additional steps are required, you can start working on your project.
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WeIO Rapid Prototyping Platform for the Internet of Things

A couple of days ago a crowdfunding campaign began for a new development platform called WeIO. Taglined as the “Platform for Web of Things” WeIO aims at dramatically simplifying the process of developing new devices, in terms of both hardware integration and software programming. In fact, according to WeIO’s creators — a team of engineers and designers from France and Lithuania — making physical objects with this new board should become as easy as developing a website.

Comparison with web development is not random as the board will be programmed natively using HTML5 (Javascript, CSS, HTML) and Python Web languages. More than that, a WeIO IDE is served locally by simply accessing the board from any browser on any device through the local network. Coding can start right away, as no software installation is required on the computer nor downloaded from cloud services.
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Makeblock Constructor I DIY 3D Printer Kit

Chinese company Makeblock, better known in DIY communities for their vast offering of mechanical parts, electronics modules and all kinds of hardware for robotics projects, have released a do-it-yourself 3D printer kit. Makeblock say they were inspired by the demands of the RepRap open source community, creating a product which is not only completely open source, but also capable of delivering high precision, quality 3D printed parts. This DIY 3D printer can be driven with any Arduino Mega 2560 compatible microcontroller, and most free 3D printing software suites can be employed for spooling the models to be printed.

Makeblock Constructor I DIY 3D Printer

Makeblock Constructor I DIY 3D Printer | Photo: Makeblock

The 3D printer kit is available for sale at a price of US$ 700, equivalent to about 540 Euro without taxes, and the company expects to start shipping in less than a month, proposing a deadline of October, 10th this year.
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