New Space and Tech

NASA ARC Rover controlled by Android Nexus One (video)

By Keith Cowing
April 8, 2013
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Here we are demonstrating the very first prototype of a hacked Sensetta rover platform, controlled instead by an Arduino ‘breakout’ board controlled over Bluetooth by a custom scripted Google Android app. The use of the Android-Arduino combination on-board the vehicle reduces the weight, energy consumption, and maneuverability by removing the Max Kernel computer and router.
Future prototypes will on-board a phone more like what are traditionally found on those rovers available at

Total price (same as the Droidcopter): less than $600 in parts (assuming full retail price of Nexus One, this is ONE ORDER OF MAGNITUDE IN PRICE REDUCTION). Labor: ten days of volunteer, late-night time in the N226 NASA Open Lab.

Work completed by volunteers Andy Boyett, Andy Lee, David Lehrberg, Paul Mans, led by NASA Contractor Geoff Chu, and assisted by the Droidcopter and AndroidSat teams. Thanks to Google Über-Dogfooder Ryan Hickman for his advice & support.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.