Drive Module

One of the problems raised by the original Robo-Ops rover was that the drive modules left the motors and gearboxes entirely exposed to the environment.  This is clearly not suitable for a potential planetary rover, so we knew we would have to build enclosures for the drive system.  This is particularly challenging because the enclosure needs to provide both mechanical attachment to the chassis as well as support the 20 electrical connections necessary for our Maxon brushless motors (3 motor power, 5 position sense, 10 quadrature differential encoder, and 2 thermistor leads).  To accomplish this task, we decided to build the enclosure to have two distinct sections.  The front section, constructed of thick-wall aluminum tube and plate, mounts the motor, accommodates a lip seal on the shaft, and provides a connection to the chassis.  The rear section, constructed from a modified Hammond 1550Z103 enclosure, accommodates the electrical connections and protects the differential encoder on the rear of the motor.  Amphenol Size 28, 20 pin connectors (MS-3102A-28-16P/MS-3106B-28-16S) will connect each motor housing with its corresponding cable harness.