University of Minnesota Rocket Team
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Home --> Payload Subteam

The payload team is in charge of coming up with an idea for the payload so that it is both scientific and benefits the rocket. Currently the payload teamis developing a rover to fit inside the rocket and to be deployed at apogee through the main parachute. It will land with the rocket, detach itself and be able to roam around on the ground.

Purpose of Rover

To be deployed to scout out an area and be as efficient, robust, and cost effective as possible.

Elements of Our Robot

  • scout based
  • aluminum body
  • similar wheels (spring loaded) with modifications (better connection to motor)
  • GPS
  • ardu uno
  • xbee for communication
  • differential drive
  • points of attachment for shock cord and way to release
  • clear case around primary electronics
  • sturdy enough to withstand drop after ejection
  • possibly an extending rod that shoots out to push itself out our away

Success Criteria

  • safe landing
  • disengage from shock cord
  • all electronics working
  • GPS tracks its movements
  • records readings from all sensors and relays data back
  • good communication between rover and base ops
  • safely recovered and in reusable condition

Full Component List

  • xbees
  • ardu uno
  • 2 servos
  • wheel shafts
  • aluminum wheels
  • aluminum chasis
  • acrylic body covering
  • gopro camera
  • battery
  • 3 infrared sensors
  • gps unit
  • motor shield
  • antenna


  • November 2013 :: Tested pyrotechnic bolt. Ultimately failed because wall was too thin at the top and blew out. Modification to be tested next is cutting the top off and using machine shop to drill more centered hole.
  • March 2014 :: Modified pyrotechnic bolt.


  • February =>design esssentially finished
  • April 5 => new pyrotechnic bolt tested successfully
  • April => all parts recieved
  • May 5 => construction completed
  • June 2 => coding debugged and rover operational