Explora Standard Kit
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 definition 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 8WD Explora S is the workhorse of the Explora fleet. An incredibly agile and hardy robot designed for harsh conditions. With 8 independently driven and suspended wheels, the Explora S is able to transverse rough terrain with ease (see this link for the Explora video). A generous payload bay at the front provides balanced and protected space for sensors. It provides a stable platform for photography, thermal imaging, laser scanning, gas sensing or whatever terrestrial application you require. We have so much fun playing around the office with this robot! The Explora S kit is easy to build with an easy to follow manual (see link to manual). As it is made from structural plywood, the robot is easy to modify to add sensors, gimbals or any other equipment you need. Just cut, glue and paint. We usually run fiberglass tape around the edges to increase strength and waterproofing.