Explora Mini Package
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The Explora series of robots is the result of everything we have learned from years of playing in the underground sandpit. They are small all-terrain robots which have ridiculous amounts of traction and agility. This is achieved via eight independently suspended and powered wheels, as much ground clearance as we can manage and the right geometry for skid steering. The Explora was originally designed as a transceiver node for the much larger “Dropbear” inspection robot. These nodes are sent out in advance to establish a wireless mesh network that the Dropbear then uses to relay high defnition imagery back to the ground control station.
The requirements for the Explora were size mobility and cost; it had to be small, extremely mobile and had to be at a low enough cost that it could almost be considered disposable (in a mining context). After years of experimenting with four wheeled, six wheeled and tracked robots, the eight-wheel Explora configuration has proven to be the most nimble and reliable. Realising the potential for such a platform across a range of industries, the Explora is available in a number of build configurations.
The Exlora MINI is a low cost development package that is easy to assemble and takes about three hours to build. It comes as a flat pack of laser cut ply components which means that is also easy to modify the robot. We just cut into it and glue bits wherever we need to and then fiberglass around the modifications and sand and paint. It is easy to make waterproof with enough silicone sealant.
The Exlora MINI is ideal for small projects, university research or for the hobbyist. The standard motors provide plenty of torque for climbing and the big soft spongy wheels provide great traction.