Legged robots and flying drones are neat, but let’s not forget the faithful, wheeled rover that, much like Mulga Bill’s horse, has served us many days. Sure, there’s not much demand for your own, personal mini-rover, but if the Turtle Rover Kickstarter is anything to go by, there’s more than enough interest. $100,000 worth, in fact.
Although the Kickstarter has ended, the rover is still available for “preorder” via a separate Indiegogo campaign. The unit is made from a combination of “aerospace aluminium”, plastics and stainless steel and features a robotic arm capable of lifting up to 500g.
Its four-hour battery life should get you 200m or so, depending on how much streaming you decide to do via its built-in camera. As for programmability, that comes down to your familiarity with the Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspbian, the Debian-based default distro that serves as the operating system.
If you’re interested, be prepared to cough up a pretty penny. The $US990 ($1264) “Maker Kit” requires self-assembly, while the $US1972 ($2518) comes pre-built.
Neither includes shipping and I don’t see any mention of the Raspberry Pi 3 as part of the package (a point stated explicitly for the Kickstarter tiers), so that might need to be added to the shopping list.
Still, it’s adorable as far as rovers go.