Curiosity rover model (data transmission, control and live video questions)

As you can tell by the title, I'm planning on making a model of the curiosity rover. It will be quite big (around 40 cm long). I'm doing the project because I feel like I will learn a lot while building the model.

Here are the features I'm aiming for:

  • Live camera.
  • Pulse laser (I'll settle for a regular laser if this is too difficult/dangerous).
  • 6 brushless motors for driving.
  • 4 servo motors for steering.
  • ~4 servo motors for controlling the arm.
  • 2 servo motors for controlling the camera.

I now a fair bit about electronics but I'm new to programming. I'm confident that I can learn enough to get this project to work though. I'm not entirely sure how I will actually control the rover and how I will get the live video to work. Radio seems hard due to the limited number of channels. Maybe some fancy programming would allow me to control different things with a single input by using a switch. It wouldn't be a problem that I couldn't move the arm at the same time as move the rover, for instance. I honestly have no idea how I can control it in any other way because I'm quite new to this stuff. I assume some sort of a wireless router could work, but that would probably be complicated and expensive. There should be enough space for it though. I also have no idea on how I could send the video signal. I've tried to do some research but a lot of the sources are very unclear and are aimed towards flying drones.

I need some tips on what equipment to use for sending signals to the arduino(s). Is my radio transmitter with switches in order to use a single input for multiple outputs a possibility? I also need some tips concerning the video footage (How can I send the footage? What devices could I receive it on?).

I have a decent budget for the project but would like to keep the price for the equipment under $1250 if possible (17 year old with no income ;) ).

olafwillocx: As you can tell by the title, I'm planning on making a model of the curiosity rover. It will be quite big (around 40 cm long). I'm doing the project because I feel like I will learn a lot while building the model.

Here are the features I'm aiming for:

  • Live camera.
  • Pulse laser (I'll settle for a regular laser if this is too difficult/dangerous).
  • 6 brushless motors for driving.
  • 4 servo motors for steering.
  • ~4 servo motors for controlling the arm.
  • 2 servo motors for controlling the camera.

I now a fair bit about electronics but I'm new to programming. I'm confident that I can learn enough to get this project to work though. I'm not entirely sure how I will actually control the rover and how I will get the live video to work. Radio seems hard due to the limited number of channels. Maybe some fancy programming would allow me to control different things with a single input by using a switch. It wouldn't be a problem that I couldn't move the arm at the same time as move the rover, for instance. I honestly have no idea how I can control it in any other way because I'm quite new to this stuff. I assume some sort of a wireless router could work, but that would probably be complicated and expensive. There should be enough space for it though. I also have no idea on how I could send the video signal. I've tried to do some research but a lot of the sources are very unclear and are aimed towards flying drones.

I need some tips on what equipment to use for sending signals to the arduino(s). Is my radio transmitter with switches in order to use a single input for multiple outputs a possibility? I also need some tips concerning the video footage (How can I send the footage? What devices could I receive it on?).

I have a decent budget for the project but would like to keep the price for the equipment under $1250 if possible (17 year old with no income ;) ).

You find that this, or very similar, has been done quite a bit in the Radio Control Model hobby.

Try a Google Search on;

FPV Tank

(FPV = First person view)

srnet: You find that this, or very similar, has been done quite a bit in the Radio Control Model hobby.

Try a Google Search on;

FPV Tank

(FPV = First person view)

Thanks! That's going to help a lot with my research. I never found these because I kept looking for 'drones'.

Just a note but the Curiosity rover model does not have a live video capability. Are you going to build in a 30 minuet delay into the controls to simulate the real thing?

This is the sort of thing they do on the Raspberry Pi, check that board out.

Grumpy_Mike: Just a note but the Curiosity rover model does not have a live video capability. Are you going to build in a 30 minuet delay into the controls to simulate the real thing?

This is the sort of thing they do on the Raspberry Pi, check that board out.

That's a great idea. I'm a little scared of Raspberry Pi, the programming seems harder. I'll start learning how to program after my exams. If I get to the point where I can program a Raspberry Pi, I'll try :).

The latest issue of TheMagPi has a bit of a design spirit-rover-robot-kit, free to download. While you are at it check out my game on page 50.

I've good success buy parts at www.robotshop.com

jseery: I've good success buy parts at www.robotshop.com

Sounds like an advertisement to me......... and WAY overpriced, at that.