GROVER2 gets a set of (aluminum) bones
This summer, Geeked On Goddard is reporting on Engineering Boot Camp, a program run by NASA engineer Mike Comberiate. In the program, new and aspiring young engineers work on technology programs to support NASA science.
The other day I stopped by Building 25 — ground zero for NASA Engineering Boot Camp — and was happy to see the ice-crawling robot, GROVER2, taking shape in the shop. Mechanical systems lead engineer Guillermo Diaz (above, right) took me out to a small brick building neat the main building.
In a marathon 36-hour session, slightly bleary-eyed Guillermo helped assemble and weld GROVER2′s aluminum bones together. Fellow Engineering Boot Camper Kyle Hobin (above, left), an undergraduate engineering student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, took the lead on welding the components together. The team had recently cut them from large aluminum sheets using high-pressure water jet cutting machinery.
Guillermo has also been working overtime to make sure that critical components, such as wheel bearings, arrive in time to complete GROVER2 for a trip to the beach next week for field testing.
As planned, the new rover is narrower and more compact, just 54 inches wide, 60 inches high, and 65 inches long, by my measurements. The two 1/4 horsepower electric motors that will drive GROVER2′s caterpillar tracks (adapted from racing snowmobile components) are already bolted to the frame.
With luck, we’ll be on the beach next Wednesday to put GROVER2 through his paces. In the meantime, here’s a slide show of images from the shop.
OH AND DID I MENTION? All opinions and opinionlike objects in this blog are mine alone and NOT those of NASA or Goddard Space Flight Center. And while we’re at it, links to websites posted on this blog do not imply endorsement of those websites by NASA.