Starting my newest robotics project today. This is my first for over 15 years (cince I got married, had kids, had to waste my waking time working, etc...)
I am basing this design completely on linux and older but standard PC hardware. PC-104 form factor Industrial PC boards are dirt cheap and older processors like the 386 and 486 draw very little power compared to today's embedded high performance processors. I am planning on 802.11b wireless networking for the bot as well as a pethora of sensors and video camera for sensing / feedback to the control center and website that the robot will have control over. this will be a self guiding bot with the ability of website visitors to reccomend to the bot places to go. it will be restricted to my basement until I figure out the weatherproofing and then it will be a resident of my back yard during months without snow.
specifically I am interested in making an exploration robot similar to the wonderful designs currently wandering the surface of mars, but with a lower level of sophistication in drivetrain design and it will have an unlimited source of power it can return to for a recharge.
my first goal is to find a decent source for high quality drive systems that dont need gobs of amps and can go 90 mph. a max of 4 MPH is fine for my design, I just need to be able to get over large obstacles and the occasional dog.