The Cosmoneer Proto is the first hackable robotic spacecraft platform to use off the shelf components and the widely accepted Arduino interface to provide a fun, learning space-like environment. Space doesn't get any closer than this! You can program and interact with basic spacecraft systems consisting of Command & Control, Power, Attitude Control and Communications all in a simulated zero gravity environment.
- Learn how spacecraft subsystems work
- Experience spacecraft design challenges
- Learn spacecraft guidance & navigation
- Learn how to apply robotics at the spacecraft level
- Be your own mission control
Whether for your mad scientist lab or a classroom or a makerspace, the Cosmoneer bridges the gap between your spacecraft dreams and real hands on hardware.
- Makers and Space Enthusiasts who are interested in staking a claim in advancing access to space and space related simulators.
- Students and Schools that are interested in spacecraft, but want something that goes far beyond the electronics and sensor side of currently available spacecraft educational tools, including cubesat offerings.
The Cosmoneer represents high-tech spacecraft technology in a highly affordable hobby scale size. Nothing else like it exists today.
Think about it: there is no currently available affordable tool for enthusiasts or students to take an active role in regards to access to space or spacecraft development.
As a civilization, we are going to space. Question is, how do we get the experience needed to get there? How are we going to develop and test them before we send them there?
If this isn't your first time to KickStarter, then you've heard this next line before: "We need to take it from prototype to production..."
What we REALLY need is more than that. Because the Cosmoneer Proto is Open Source, we need YOU! We need your input not only for design considerations (i.e.- what you expect from a desktop spacecraft simulator), we need your involvement! Writing code, building 3D models, and most important of all, spreading the word that the Cosmoneer is available and is filling a void that has existed for far too long.
And yes, just to confirm, your support will also enable us to buy parts in bulk, refine design and assembly processes, and perfect the end-user product.
When we couldn't afford to send a real satellite into space, we set out to design a desktop spacecraft from low cost materials that mimics nearly every aspect of a real spacecraft and the challenges and risks that come with it, but without the high cost and disappointment when a failure occurs.
The Proto is housed in a spherical volume instead of a cube. This makes it possible for future versions to simulate full three degrees of freedom (3DOF). However, its dimensions make it possible to deploy the Cosmoneer within the space-faring cubesat standard, should you pursue spaceflight.
The Cosmoneer Proto consists of these basic spacecraft systems: Command & Control, Power, Attitude Control and Communications using low cost components, 3D printing, Open Source Hardware and Software. All of these systems are represented in the diagram below, using as few components as possible.
Building upon the inertial guidance and infrared communications, users can team up and experience spacecraft constellations via data relay races and other spacecraft mission challenges. We can't wait to see what the user community comes up with!
In the same manner that spacecraft are inaccessible once they are launched, the Cosmoneer is designed to be hands off as much as possible, while providing as real as possible facsimile of a spacecraft in space.
Wireless induction power closely imitates solar power, suspension in the yaw axis simulates zero gravity and the string provides a low friction environment. The micro controller acts as a CPU, controlling other components and systems programmatically.
Attitude control is achieved via heading measurements from a compass and a CMG (Control Moment Gyro) that provides inertia and torque, or the ability to turn the Cosmoneer without touching anything, imitating the same systems used on the International Space Station. The CMG's torque output is controlled by Pulse Width Modulation to a servo and brushless DC Motor speed controller.
Line-of-sight communications is achieved via infrared serial communications, which requires a degree of pointing accuracy and repeatability. Leveraging a proven protocal based on infrared, called Serial IrDa, the complexities of establishing a reliable link are offloaded to a chip that manages the connection. By using infrared very little power is used to maintain communications.
We've packed quite a bit into this simple, hackable design. We used portions of the main circuit board as attachment points for the two front support PCBs, should you choose to add sensors.
Using Open Source apps we'll develop or free apps developed by the user community, you can program your Cosmoneer Proto to execute many spacecraft missions right on your desktop! Want to do more with a Cosmoneer Proto? Simply download the 3D design files, schematics or other tools required to help you modify anything to suit your project/mission needs. We've got all of our source files available on Github and a discussion forum for sharing of ideas, challenges and breakthroughs waiting for you!
We strove to keep the rewards simple and low cost. We're broken the tiers down into Assembled and non-Assembled kits. We can ship the unassembled kits out sooner because there is less work involved. If you want your kit sooner, or you like the satisfaction of knowing that you put it all together, then the unassembled kit is for you! Your kit will come pre-installed with the latest demonstration code available at the time of shipping, and will contain a parts bundle similar to the picture below, with very few solder joints required.
If you'd rather unbox you're Cosmoneer and get right to it, then an assembled kit is the one for you! Your Cosmoneer Proto will come fully assembled and preprogrammed, ready to be powered up from within it's shell.
If you like "limited editions", then you'll love the preassembled, signed and numbered, Cosmoneer Proto - Gold Edition.
The Gold Edition includes foiled hardware to more closely resemble actual spacecraft protective blanketing.
If you are an educator or a MakerSpace that wants to add a collection of Cosmoneers to your toolbox, then the 5-pack is your ticket to the best reward! It comes with five preassembled Cosmoneers, six Serial IrDa breakout boards and one spare Control Moment Gyro. This pack is our way of giving back to the educational community!