R0kker Robot Side ViewFor a while now, I have wanted to experiment with the rocker-bogie type chassis, read NASA Mars Rover, and seeing its mechanical merits. However, the time and effort needed to construct one has been preventing me from doing this. Creating this type of chassis without a significant time commitment is easier said then done, unless you already have the right set of components that play well together.

This is where the right blend of build-plate strips, Meccano parts and micro-motors come in handy to build the table-top version of NASA Mars Rover quickly - the 'R0kker-bot'. The build-plate construction system is a set of aluminum strips that can you can drill, bend and cut to any shape or form you wish. And just in case you're not up to speed on what Meccano is, you can look it up here; I highly doubt that though, as you are here and reading this, but just in case :).

The basic chassis setup, excluding wiring and electronics took three hours to complete. You can bolt together the main chassis in an hour using Meccano parts, and it takes another two hours to drill and attach the motors using build-plate aluminum strips. Most of those three hours went into trying to fit Meccano and build-plate components together nicely, and into ensuring that the dual-wheel arch frame has enough clearance for rotation and doesn't get stuck against the main robot body. Meccano’s large bolts do get in the way; therefore it is essential to make sure that there is enough clearance between the frame and the main body. In the picture below, you can see how the motor/wheel combination is attached to the build-plate aluminum strip and then to the Meccano part with regular Meccano bolts. Once the mechanical part was finished, I proceeded with getting everything wired up.

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