Yesterday was the monthly meeting of San Gabriel Valley Linux Users Group (SGVLUG) for May 2018. SGVHAK, the maker hacker group who built a rover, is a subset of SGVLUG and we got to present our project to the wider community.
The night’s presentation started with Eric Junkins of JPL talking about how JPL’s Open Source Rover came about. Several groups were invited to beta test the build instructions before public release (coming in a few weeks, says Eric) and this was the stage where SGVHAK got involved. SGVHAK made a few changes to the baseline design for our own take on the project, exactly as the nature of open source release intended.
Towards the end Sawppy the Rover got a few minutes in the spotlight as a spin-off rover that was inspired by JPL’s Open Source Rover project. I got to talk about how it came out of an offhand comment by Eric and eventually I delivered a basic chassis that met his challenge of a $500 price point. It is not as fast, nor as powerful, nor as flexible as the JPL open source rover design. These were all trade-offs made in the name of hitting that price point.
After the presentation both rovers ventured out to the parking lot behind our meeting location (Du-Par’s Pasadena) and ran around for a while, attracting attention from passers-by along the way. The rovers may have managed to recruit a few new members to SGVLUG. We’ll see!