New LEGO MindStorms – Exploration Rover Model Analysis

In the new released LEGO MindStorms, its app contains multiple models. Some models come from LEGO Community. In today’s post, let’s build one model and analyze its structure. You could find this model from LEGO app shown as below.

Model Structure

This model is pretty big and heavy. Its body is widely stretched and symmetric. The smart hub is put in the center. There are four motors used in this model. Two front wheels are driven independently. The other two motors control four back wheels, with each controlling two wheels. Color sensor is attached to one front arm, while ultrasonic sensor is attached to the other standing pole.  

bottom view
top view

Back Wheel Structure

The two motors are set up in a shape of triangle. Such a creative structure ensures to have a suitable distance between front and back wheels. Meanwhile, the tilted surface makes possible for the back wheels to glide and sway in the slot of frame. When the ground surface is uneven, this structure could avoid the rover from getting stuck.

In the following diagram, the beam connected to the wheels could glide and swing within the black frame. The rotary motion of motor could pass to the two back wheels through the gear train.

Change Rotary Motion to Swing Motion

Through gear train and crank structure, one front wheel motor’s rotary motion is converted to the swing motion of the sensor arms.

Therefore, the movement of colour sensor and ultrasonic sensor is not independent. They are controlled by one of front wheel motor. The purpose is to make the model look more vivid.

The model demo shows that it could identify the color, stop moving and reverse. its sensor and ultrasonic arms could turn back and forth, as if they are searching for the objects and obstacles.

That is the brief introduction of the exploration rover model. The appearance is pretty similar to that of exploration rover landing on the Moon or the Mars. The six-wheel structure is creative. Its back wheels could glide in a slot to adapt well to the uneven ground surface. Ultrasonic sensor and colour sensor poles could swing in a small degree, making the model vivid.

Just as I mentioned, the model is heavy and it takes time to build it even following the instruction. It could be better if the whole structure becomes more compact.

That is the world of new LEGO MindStorms. If you are a fan of mechanical design, you could find enough components and parts to satisfy your freestyle creation. Come to try it now!

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