Most of the robots we come across fit into one of two categories: expensive, professionally-built robots, or homemade robots that look, well, homemade. There is nothing wrong with the latter — not everyone has access to the tools necessary to build professional-looking robots, and function is more important than form anyway. But, it’s still nice to see robots like Watney that manage to be both attractive and inexpensive enough to make at home.
Watney is a small FPV (first-person view) rover designed by GitHubber Nikivanov. All four of the wheels are driven by a pair of geared motors, so it drives and turns like a tank. The frame and the rest of the mechanical parts can all be 3D-printed on just about any model of printer, making it accessible to any maker with access to a 3D printer. And, all of the electronics are very affordable.
To create your Watney robot, you’ll need the 3D-printed parts and a Raspberry Pi Zero W, a Raspberry Pi Camera, two geared DC motors, an L298N H-bridge motor driver, a small servo, a battery, and some miscellaneous components to tie everything together. The video feed from the camera is displayed on a website than runs on the Raspberry Pi, so you can control the robot from any computer or smartphone on your network. If you want a capable, nice looking, affordable rover, this is an awesome design to build.