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UM Rover Team discusses Tesla Surveyor rover

We have a gumstix overo computer on module chip that we am booting angstrom linux on as the backbone of the robotics system. The Input/Output ports for motor control work, the camera is operational and we have video capture and raw pictures. This camera system is capable of XGA video at 15 fps (1024x768) progressive scan. We have the 3 megapix camera version. There is a higher powered 5 mpix camera we can get that offers 720p and up if we have to switch for the final product. We have full wireless control over 802.11, now we are working to get the modules in sync. Once we have that we will have streaming video and remote control. From there we can use the test chassis we have to begin tweaking. Our goal is to make an electronics package that is modular, we can use anywhere from 1-10 of them simultaneously to increase survivability, and can be used in any number of chassis. Right now we are looking at 4, 2 with cameras to the front, 2 to the back, where we come up with a protocol that only one is transmitting over 802.11 at a time (to the lander), but all remain in contact with each other, either by bluetooth or wired. This is the big problem that needs to be solved for our robot to be worth anything more than an RC car with a camera. On the mechanical side, we have come up with a few options. We had the 4 wheel vs 2 wheel vs 3 wheel vs ball vs track discussion. Honestly it comes down to testing, We are pretty sure that a polished aluminum shell and aerogel should be able to deal with the heat/cold problem. An aluminum shell of an inch with several redundant isolated computers should be able to handle the radiation problem. We are extremely committed to creating this modular electronic part that can take HD video and send it via wireless (to the lander). This could be used in a variety of applications even outside of the space realm. The final electronics package will be completely contained in a 3 x 1 x 1 inch enclosure.
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