At UNC, there was a project called the Lazarus Project. The Lazarus Project was an engineering and physics project in which the challenge was to design and construct four autonomous robots. My group took one of the smaller robots from the Lazarus Project called “Mousebot” and upgraded its sensors and code to track a beacon and avoid obstacles. This study will be reviewing all of the work done by the team that I am involved in as we made upgrades and changes to our autonomous rover, Mousebot. The purpose of this project is to roughly follow the guidelines of the Colorado Space Grant Consortium Robotics Challenge. We had to design and create a robot that could roam simulated terrain of the planet Mars without destroying its ability to function properly. These are the basic guidelines of the Robotics Challenge. The Mousebot is now halfway operational. The terrain maneuverability is functioning, but the beacon navigation is not integrated into the Mousebot yet.
The robot needs find a beacon and also follow the Robotics Challenge specifications. I am in a small group that is determined to overcome those challenges by designing and creating our own small rover that could potentially survive on the surface of Mars. We are using and upgrading a small robot from the Lazarus Project called the Mousebot. We are programming the Mousebot ourselves and creating our own sensor applications and mounts for it. The sensors ensure the functionality of the Mousebot.
The Robotics Challenge states: “The robot must stay on the ground at all times. It cannot have a mass of any more than 4 kg and if it weighs less than 1.5 kg, it will be run with others that are that have a mass of less than 1.5 kg as well. The rover has to choose its own route by some form of automation. There cannot be any human to machine intervention at any time during the race. You may only utilize the 433 MHz signal from a beacon that is at the end of the course and not any GPS or other non-related tracking systems. You can spend no more than 500 dollars on all of supplies. No hazardous materials should be used, and if so, they should not leak anywhere. There should be nothing left by the robot on the course when it is all done such as oil or non-natural materials. We cannot try to evade the rules by finding loopholes” (O’Neill).
The Lazarus Project is a project that was conducted at UNC in 2012 (Shiely). It was created so that there would be a building platform for new robotics projects that may require the use of robotics. The Lazarus Project really helped in the making of this robot because parts of it were all ready assembled.