Currently, outdoor unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) are expensive (average of 20K$) academic pursuits that are not readily available at a high volume. Open Rover's goal is to create a lower cost, standardized outdoor robotics ground vehicle with 4 and 6 wheel options based on intended application. These rovers will be able to map a given area and localize themselves within this map. Easy-to-use tools and APIs will allow everyone to create simple-to-complex robotic applications. We will be targeting organic agricultrual applications in the beginning.
The latest findings of the Open Rover project have proved that low cost scooter motors can move the robot at the pace and level of control that we think is neccesary. However, most of the code of python and ROS on these motors caused lags in control. To address this issue, we created a custom C++17 library to communicate with the motor controllers. We are currently in the process of integrating with ROS2 all based on C++. After we verify basic mobility with a PS4 controller, we will be transitioning to working on the computer vision and mapping abilities. Acquiring a stereo camera to aid map generation will be the top hardware prority.