Autonomous Rover for Everyone.

Sophosticated precision sensors, LoRa wireless technology and 3D printed mechanics.

Octanis 1 is our first mission to build a low-cost autonomous rover for polar, snow or ice covered regions. In this first iteration we will be specialising the rover for the coastal regions of Antarctica and its specific weather conditions. After the rover will prove itself in Antarctica, we plan to release a rover kit aimed at curious minds wanting to do their own exploratory missions.

Financial Support By Glacier Access Sponsored By Solar Panels Sponsored By LoRa Hardware Sponsored By
GPS Navigation Hardware Sponsored By Image Processing Hardware Sponsored By Strut Motors Sponsored By

Purpose built electronics.

Sensors, Controllers and Long Range Communications on one board.

Specialised devices on one tiny board form the rovers main computer. This little powerhouse controls everthing from driving to communicating with Mission Control. Designed to consume very little power, this board enables future rover missions requiring the rover to survive in complete darkness for up to 6 months - running only on battery. Move your mouse over the picture.

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15km Long Range Wireless (LoRaWAN Module on back)
Inertial Measurement Unit (Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass)
5V Boost Converter
Flash Storage for Sensor Data
H-Bridge Array for Motor Control
60x GPIO for Peripherals
Current Sense Array for Motor Control
TI MSP432, ARM Cortex M4F Microcontroller running TI-RTOS
Hygrometer / Thermometer
Barometer / Thermometer
Ultraviolet Light Sensor
Inertial Measurement Unit
Lightning & Storm Distance Sensor
Iridium Satellite Messenger
GPS Navigation Module

Worldwide communication, navigation and sensing.

Wireless reception and outdoor sensing is best outside the rovers shell.

Rover is capable of using three different communications channels: Bluetooth for close proximity control, LoRaWAN for a large 15km range and a more extravagant Satellite Modem called RockBLOCK™. The latter enables worldwide, pole-to-pole, two-way communications with the rover using the Iridium Network. LoRaWAN and Satellite Modem data sent by the rover can be accessed on a web monitoring platform.

Unlimited power supply.

Solar panels covering the rover deliver all required energy.

Using highly efficient SunPower™ solar cells, the rover takes up all the sunshine it can get and stores the solar energy in its internal lithium-ion battery pack. Like living organisms who have a basic metabolic system controlling body state, our rover has a dedicated energy subsystem called EPS. The EPS keeps track of the batteries and recharges when possible. Excess solar energy is used to heat the rovers body and keep all the systems at their preferred working temperatures. And in case the rovers software unexpectedly trips up and crashes, the EPS steps in to reboot the system.

Power bus
Power dissipators, heaters
Discharge circuit, 3.3V Step-down and Bus Regulator
I2C / Spy-Bi-Wire
Analog In
MSP430 Microcontroller
Current sensors and switches
Charge command, Battery current limiter

Entirely Reproduceable.

Not mass produced, but still low cost.

Anyone can make their own incarnation of the Octanis 1 rover for their own missions and expeditions. The rover is built using normal commercial parts available to everyone at an affordable price. Special parts like wheels or struts can be entirely 3D printed using additive PLA/ABS printers, available at your nearest Hackerspace. It's as easy as inserting a USB stick and hitting print!

The rover is universal as it's software can be changed in a short time to do whatever you want. And you don't need our permission for that. No need for expensive development tools or knowledge of low level assembly. The rover is also affordable as all parts are either 3D printed ABS, made of cheap foam or off-the-shelf mechanics. The electronics are about as expensive as an Arduino Kit and are detailed below. Of course you have the freedom of attaching any type of payload, such as a DNA sequencing device or a meteorite seeking camera array. They can interface over USB, I2C or UART.

Tech Specs

More details on the technical specifications and other information on the rover are on our wiki. The rover is open source and licensed under the MIT License. You can find software code and CAD drawings on GitHub. Please tell us if you use or modify our work. We love hearing your stories and suggestions!



Power, Motors


Rover without solar panels

Top and bottom enclosure (PU) removed

Gearbox for strut mechanism