Friday, October 31, 2008

Week TechVideo, 2008 #44 - Moon Rover

This week, take a look into another video from Sariel. A LEGO Moon Rover, this time.

This is a model with large amount of functionalities proper from a vehicle of this kind. To accomplish it, this rover features 8 PF motors remotely controlled through 4 IR receivers, 3 linear actuators, 4 PF light sets, 1 PF switch and one non-LEGO wireless camera for on-board video transmission (like a real planetary exploration vehicle).
The camera addition is a very interesting combination which could add lots of fun and playability to many TECHNIC models.
It is the same kind of camera I use in my LUG events, inside trains to give a inner City perspective from the front of the locomotive, while running through the layout. Always something which raises the attention and interest from visitors.
It was also used at LEGOWORLD 2008 for the live video broadcast, attached to the fully remote controllable 8294 Excavator arm, so it could be positioned into a large number of angles. However this was not working properly at that time.

Rover also features: 4 driven pendular boogies for great mobility; camera pod with 180 degrees rotation and 75 degrees elevation; arm with near infinite rotation and 40 degrees elevation; a gripper to grab objects.

More photos from this model, on Sariel's BS folder.


Anonymous said...

Thanks :) But don't blame me if this video wins another poll ;)
I'd like to add that I've recently got professional lighting to make my videos better - my latest Lego video is made with it. By the end of the year, I will probably get a better camera too.

TechnicBRICKs said...


I also think, there is a lot of Polish fans, following the polls here. ;)

Keep making them. We like!
Talent doesn't require very good material. But if you get it, even better.

Mezzauk said...

I like the design, compact and very well presented. I'm working on a replica mars rover = how did you do the picture which explains what is what?. What type of camera did you go with in the end?

Anonymous said...

I did the picture with GIMP, I'm a professional graphic designer. The camera used in the end is the one shown on photos, small industrial b&w radio camera.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sariel, loved your MOC.

How did you connect the camera to the computer? Does it have an internal bluetooth dongle or something ? I always wanted to have a little cam like yours but they were around 70-80 USD. I ordered more Lego sets instead :)

TechnicBRICKs said...

These are wireless cameras, nothing to do with BT or WLAN.

They could be 1.2GHZ or 2.4GHz, depending on the receiver technology, which could have also composite output or composite plus USB (much more expensive).

You may find a lot of them at eBay.

I've both systems, which we use at my LUG during public events inside trains and for live video broadcast.

Anonymous said...

Precisely, the one I used is 1.2GHz. The main difference is much shorter antenna, plus 2.4GHz frequence is restricted from civilian use in my country.

TechnicBRICKs said...

Didn't understood the exact meaning of your sentence, but for those that I have, the antenna is much shorter on the 2,4Ghz. As expected, since the frequency is higher and the wavelength shorter.

Forgot to mention, that we can have also daylight, night vision or combined cameras.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I thought the 1.2 GHz antenna is shorter. Nevermind. I meant that civilians can't legally use 2.4 GHz frequency in my country for some reason. Guess it's reserved for some special use, like military or something.

TechnicBRICKs said...

Probably it can be used up to a certain transmission power, like 10 or 100mW, for indoor use only.

In the end it is the same range as WLAN networks that we have at home (2.400-2.483MHz), which means that some interferences may occur.

Alex Campos said...

That's plain incomprehensible! The 2.4 GHz frequency is almost essential in the developed world: Bluetooth, WiFi, cordless phones and microwave ovens use it.

Anyway, I've been browsing that kind of cameras some time ago, and all of them generate an analogue signal, to be displayed on a TV. To get the image on a computer, a video capture card is needed.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I could have mistaken 1.2 GHz for 2.4 GHz :) and this camera is 2.4 while 1.2 is illegal. Anyway, to capture the signal I'm using an analogue receiver, and then a hardware converter to get digital form of the video. Such cameras have big potential for complex, mobile MOCs, and particularly for Mindstorms, I think. I remember that Philo used a camera of this type with Mindstorms.

Alex Campos said...

Nonetheless, there are some countries where Bluetooth is forbidden (don't know if it's because it uses 2.4 GHz): for example, the Siemens S55 mobile phone has BT, and there's the S57 without BT especially for those countries.

For MindStorms, there's also the MindSensors NXTCam v2, but it unfortunately doesn't transmit video wirelessly.

Brian Davis said...

I blogged about using a cheap pair of LCD goggles with one of these cameras (in my case, 2.4 GHz... which won't work well in my house due to all the BT and wireless LAN signals inside). With a battery pack and the wireless camera receiver on my belt, I looked funny... but it's great fun "seeing" through the eyes of the model.

TechnicBRICKs said...


Where did you blogged that?

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Though I always get a chuckle win demo reels say something like 'high mobility'... on a pefectly flat, polished surface!

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