Sunday, October 28, 2012

Water jet cutting rover parts! Thanks TechShop SF!

Thanks to the TechShop in San Francisco, Corey and I have been cutting out parts for the TE+ND rover. I've taken some video of how the water jet cuts out our aluminum feet and hips. Thanks TechShop for donating three months of membership!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Corey and I have teamed up with Jenn (an ME) and Ray (a structural engineer) to double check the awesomeness of the Rover! Snapshot of the team meeting below (provided by Josh Stanley).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Corey and I have been on a summer break and working towards a two week spell in the desert. In the mean time, Corey has just rendered this amazing model of the rover!

Friday, June 22, 2012

We're cutting out parts! This video is of the Exploratorium's Haas CNC router cutting out the wooden spacers for the legs (illustrated in the previous post). Next to it is a photo of Corey holding up the now scrap wood and a pile of all of our new rover parts! Yeay!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The latest Solidworks of the Rover. We've changed up the leg supports a little to make it easier to fabricate and lighter weight. There are aluminum sides to each hip and foot with wood in between.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I've also been working on the porcelain TE+ND Tags! I should have the whole lot fired by July!

We've been working hard here at the Exploratorium! Everyone here has been so welcoming and willing to share their knowledge.

Corey and I are currently working on designing and  laser cutting prototype parts. Check out the acrylic version of the internal drive gear (right). Its so pretty in acrylic, be we're going to make the final version out of aluminum!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thanks to everyone who supported our Indiegogo campaign! You all ROCK! The Boca Bearings competition is still on going and we could use your votes! Go to the Boca Bearings contest website and vote for us!

In other news, we've started our residency at the Exploratorium. If you are in San Francisco and want to see the progress, live and in person, stop by!

Thanks again everyone for all of your help!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hey guys, I need your help.
Boca Bearings has this contest for people who use their bearings (and we will be using a LOT of their bearings for the TE+ND Rover). The winner will get $10k and that would fully fund the Rover build.

The contest ends on Thursday and I could REALLY use your vote. Check out the Rover entry at
and PLEASE vote. Spread the word! I could use all the help I can get on this.
Thanks for reading this and your vote.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thanks for the shout out! You guys rock! If you've never been there, check them out at /

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thanks to everyone who has supported the TE+ND Rover project so far! I love your encouragement and enthusiasm. If you haven't donated to the rovers yet, there's still time! Go to  and help us purchase parts for a full sized rover!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thanks to everyone who came to visit us at Maker's Faire in San Mateo this weekend! We met so many people and received lots of encouragement. We built our first prototype, a 1/3 scale model for the fair and previewed it with the growing platform (see below).

Remember, we only have 10 day's left in our Indigog campaign. Support the rovers and get a fabulous backer gift in return. Backers who give $20 get a translucent porcelain TE+ND tag necklace and backers who give $75 get their name on the rover. Check out the campaign website at:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Our Indigogo campaign is LIVE and will only run for two weeks. That means that we have only 14 days to raise the cash we need to fully fund the build. That also means that we need your help, go to our Indigogo site  and make the rovers a reality!
I would like to thank Glass House Media for making our fundraising campaign video for us (check it out here). Specially Steve, he put in the midnight hours and go it done! I'd also like to thank Studio E and Type A Machines ( for lending us their equipment to print out the TE+ND Rover working model! You guys ROCK!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I was interviewed by Makezine about the TE+ND Rover for this year's Maker Fair! Check it out here
Thanks Make and Goli for the shout out!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

TE+ND Rover Timing Gears 2

Corey just created this gear system for the rovers. Using two different gear ratios, the lower gear ratio is used to apply more torque when the leg is down to move the weight of the machine and the higher gear ratio is used to move the leg forward faster when the leg is off the ground.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I would like to thank the Alliance of Artist Communities for organizing the Visions From the New California Residency Award, the Exploratorium for hosting the project and the James Irvine Foundation for the grant to make the TE+ND Rover project possible. Further information on the Visions From the New California award can be found on the Alliance for Artists Communities website.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TE+ND Rover Project

TE+ND (Terrestrial Exploration + Nurture Designed) Rovers are an interactive art project that explore migratory ecology in an era of climate change. The rovers are robotic fostering environments that care for their own garden of native plants by interacting with participants and actively seeking out light and water. Each rover is two feet wide by three feet tall and has a hydroponic growing station on top of a mechanically walking base. The hydroponic growing station is made of ceramic material and has been designed to retain the right amount of moisture for root survival. The goal of the project is to illustrate the plight of California’s native habitats, to disperse native plants in a new way, to encourage the general public to participate in conservation and to think about what is ‘native.’

The rovers encourage the audience, (called participants for this project), to assist the rovers by providing light, watering plants and helping the rovers to acquire the resources they need to keep their garden healthy. In an urban setting, rovers will find water in sprinkler systems, drip irrigation, rain, fog, and from participants. In helping the rovers, participants learn about cultivating native California habitat and stretch the limits of human-robotic empathy and engagement.

TE+ND Rovers, designed after space exploration vehicles, are intended to investigate a range of environments, from cityscapes to less urban locales. Primary locations for the first stage of deployment include Golden Gate Park, Mt. Diablo State Park, The Conservatory of Flowers and The Exploratorium.

The design team consists of artist Marnia Johnston, project creator and materials specialist and Corey McGuire, hardware consultant and Linux development. Both are volunteers and have worked together creating interactive robots for SWARM .