The Space Centre set us a challenge to make a buggy capable of following a white line across the surface of their mars yard. We were given a brief to follow, but the rest was up to us and our imaginations.
At first we toyed with many ideas for our Martian rover, such as; wheels, tracks, split chassis and even hover crafts before settling on our final idea of a three wheeled buggy.
One way we were different to the other teams was our choice to use a plastic base plate, as this would give us strength and support without compromising weight. This suited us better because aluminium, although light, would not give much structural support to the components that would have to have been mounted to it.
We finished our buggy before the other teams and set about helping them to reach the deadline. When the day of testing on the Mars Yard finally came, we and the buggy were ready. We sent a few minuets adjusting our LDRs, torch head and the lights of the Mars Yard itself. After these minor tweaks, we reached success with our buggy being the only one to beat the 30° gradient and following the white line perfectly.
Through this project we picked up many transferable skills, not only to use in engineering, but in other subjects and later life as well. We’d like to a very big thank you to the space centre for letting us take part in this project and we hope we get a chance for similar projects in the future.
Guest Bloggers: Ohm’s Army, Lutterworth College