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I hate rovers SO MUCH!


Wjolcz
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Well, the low speeds of real rovers are down to a few considerations that are lessened or absent in KSP. Planetary rovers can't be driven in real-time so need to be highly automated, and that automation needs to run on a processor that's much slower than what you can use on Earth. Moon rovers can be remote controlled but with a non-negligible signal lag. Thus the manned moon buggy went significantly faster than Lunokhod which in turn was faster than any of the Mars rovers.

Also real space missions are of course expensive. When it cost you a billion dollars to get your rover there you're going to drive it carefully! In KSP we can be reckless without much consequence, even in a no-reverts career mode run a crash probably isn't that big a deal.

Adding to this, you have to consider the terrain in question and the cost of sending the rover up in terms of fuel . RL Mars and Moon have lower gravity than Earth, a thing that tends to make anything that goes on wheels less stable and with worse performance of suspensions ( less force pushing you to the ground means worse response to bumps ), so driving slower is advisable ( it also means that ideally you'll want insite suspension adjustments, but that is not exactly easy to do in a unmanned mission :D ). To add both lunar and martian surfaces are covered with sandy substances ( ok, they are not actually sand like in properties in some aspects , but close enough in this one ), adding to the need of not pushing too much on the throttle.

There is also the question of the weight of the rover as payload. If you want a stable rover for the moon or Mars you need to make it heavy, heavier than you would need for comparable stability in Earth, but we all here know exactly how costly is any gram of payload onto the Moon or Mars. The more practical solution for that situation is simply to cut the speed out of the rover ( and let's be honest, no scientific mission that used rovers in RL so far needed anything much higher than the stable velocities of most rovers in KSP. The only one that could use more speed would be probably the Moon buggy, while all the others were labs on wheels, where top velocity is not a concern ) ... while technically you could use local materials as ballast to increase stability ( again , a not that easy thing to do in a unmanned mission ), that would also decrease top speed.

You also have to consider that if you are driving based only in visual input you really don't want to drive fast in cratered terrains, like the Moon and ( far less ) Mars. Craters can be quite hard to detect from ground level until you are in the rim of it and if you are going fast enough there might not be time to correct course ( that also applies to driving in KSP Mun ) ...

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There is just really no point to them. You can't climb out of craters so science is out. They flip over at the drop of a hat regardless of how you design them. You can just EVA faster.

I've been known to just delete the rover parts so I have more room to put more mods in, personally I wish Squad would just do it for me if they aren't going to fix them.

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There is just really no point to them.

Download FinePrint for rover missions.

You can't climb out of craters so science is out.

Sure you can. If you can't then it's a flawed design.

They flip over at the drop of a hat regardless of how you design them.

Again... A design flaw

You can just EVA faster.

True... Atleast on low gravity bodies. But you only have so much EVA fuel. Usually only enough for one biome hop on the Mun. And kerbals can only perform two experiments. Also with FinePrint let's say you have two sets of waypoints to explore on the Mun. You can either send two rovers to each location or.. send one and drive to the next set of waypoints. Saving and gaining a huge amount of money.

I've been known to just delete the rover parts so I have more room to put more mods in, personally I wish Squad would just do it for me if they aren't going to fix them.

Then fix them yourself. Takes a minute. See my previous posts in this thread. Make them fun and.. fast.

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I see lots of people complaining about holding down keyboard keys to drive......

You guys do know you can hold alt while pressing a direction to set a steady draw from the wheels right? Simply look at a wheel while doing it to watch the energy draw increase then let go and your rover is off. For a full stop just hit alt and x.

Personally for stability I use either a super wide and long base with the fast mustard brown tires or I use a narrow small base with a trailer.

With the 2 long box struts wide (angled at 30 degrees down) and 2 long super wide rover I can easily cruise at 30m/s safely on the mun or Duna. I use w,s,d keys for driving and hang a probe control horizontally off the front and a SAS control on the back. When over 50m/s you sometimes have to twist in the air. Also turn the back wheels steering off. I can often run it at 2x speed which also helps a lot.

My latest creation using the black rubberized tires is even more stable. It's a super short wheel base that narrow (basically just enough to fit 4 rubberized tires, seat and solar panels). However using a long box strut I attach a trailer with a junior coupler that extends back with a couple of science modules and splayed out aircraft tires. It can be transported in 2 pieces and is basically unflippable. I can easily getting 20m/s on it at 2-3x control speeds with no accidents.

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Why bother with wheels :D

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7403/13986269877_ac05d103e0_o.png

*insert sci-fi humming noises*

I'd like to see you try that on Eve/Tylo/Kerbin/Duna/anywhere else that isn't easier to explore just by flying the lander around. :P

Very cool ship, though! I love Minmus where you can hold yourself up just by blowing through a straw that's pointed generally downward. :sticktongue:

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There is just really no point to them. You can't climb out of craters so science is out. They flip over at the drop of a hat regardless of how you design them. You can just EVA faster.

I've been known to just delete the rover parts so I have more room to put more mods in, personally I wish Squad would just do it for me if they aren't going to fix them.

Ah hem, What was that you were saying about rovers and craters?

If you want a real rover it is made from stock parts.

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/94143-Command-beetle-mk3-long-term-mobile-base-rover-with-launch-system

Edited by Roflcopterkklol
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My best light rover design has the center of gravity in the center. I have to place the seats over the CG as the kerbals do seem to add weight.

I disable steering on the back wheels and brakes on the front wheels. I also disable power to the front wheels as it seems to help prevent flipping over.

This rover works well for straight runs at decent speeds, but I still have to slow down to almost a stop before I turn. It brakes well even on a downward slope.

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I just put a rover on the Mun. How frustrated I was after realising I can't get farther than 150 meters away from the base! The way the wheels slip is sooooo ridiculous! 11 m/s and it feels like instead on regolith you drive on ice! Although I wouldn't call the thing that happens after hitting the speed 'driving'. And it's not the first time I notice this behaviour. On Duna: Same thing. Already lost 2 rovers there.

I remember I once installed Bobcat mod. The wheels there behaved WAY better than the stock ones. Though the slippy behaviour might be due the fact I use medium terrain detail, I still feel like they were tested on Kerbin in 1G behaviour only, while in developement. The rovers work fine only there.

What am I doing wrong? Am I the only one pissed off here?

In AddictionToGaming's words: "It's not the car's fault if the person behind the wheel sucks at driving". :P

Weight, though, does increase top speed. Even on the runway at KSC, with downward-firing rockets I reached higher speeds than without, and the rover I sent to Eve performed very well, better than in testing on Kerbin. I assume this goes on weight per wheel, so reducing wheel count may increase speed, at the cost of challenging the structure more.

Remapping the controls is of course important, and what I found really made rover driving fun was using a gamepad. Only a simple digital one (an original Playstation controller actually), but it's so much nicer than holding a keyboard key down for ages. And put the camera in chase mode for a more direct and immediate feel.

PS: Rover in question: https://flic.kr/p/oEQAdw Built for Duna actually, hence the fuel tanks, which I mostly emptied for the one I sent to Eve.

Huh, I always thought that more weight meant less speed. Isn't speed engine-dependent - or, in the case of KSP, wheel-dependent?

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In real life top speed of a car is usually when motive power equals aerodynamic drag. In KSP though that doesn't seem to be the case. I suspect, though haven't proven, that how much grip the wheels get affects the speed they can attain, and said grip depends as in real life on the weight on the wheel.

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So I'm wondering if anybody else has ever seen this phenomenon:

It was probably back in 0.21 or so. I landed on the flats of Minmus with a pair of wee rovers attached to docking ports. I undocked the first one, immediately made a bad mistake, and it blew up. No worries, I had a spare. So I undocked the second one, and it behaved exactly as if it was in a 2-dimensional orbit around the lander. The docking clamps seemed to be acting as a gravitational point source. I had to "orbit" the lander a whole pile of times, always pointing at a 90 degree angle to where the lander was sitting (lander kept skittering around on the ice) until I hit some kind of a threshold (I assume it was a certain distance from the docking clamps?) I was then able to proceed to drive in a very easy and controlled manner across the plain. So it wasn't a steering issue... (The lander, which was fairly substantial as I recall, fell over sideways as I "escaped".)

(Then I blew up the second one with yet another ill-conceived course adjustment...)

Maybe this belongs in the "Boy are docking ports strong" thread... Hope I didn't post it there before... Oh and yah, I also HATE rovers.

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So I'm wondering if anybody else has ever seen this phenomenon:

It was probably back in 0.21 or so. I landed on the flats of Minmus with a pair of wee rovers attached to docking ports. I undocked the first one, immediately made a bad mistake, and it blew up. No worries, I had a spare. So I undocked the second one, and it behaved exactly as if it was in a 2-dimensional orbit around the lander. The docking clamps seemed to be acting as a gravitational point source. I had to "orbit" the lander a whole pile of times, always pointing at a 90 degree angle to where the lander was sitting (lander kept skittering around on the ice) until I hit some kind of a threshold (I assume it was a certain distance from the docking clamps?) I was then able to proceed to drive in a very easy and controlled manner across the plain. So it wasn't a steering issue... (The lander, which was fairly substantial as I recall, fell over sideways as I "escaped".)

(Then I blew up the second one with yet another ill-conceived course adjustment...)

Maybe this belongs in the "Boy are docking ports strong" thread... Hope I didn't post it there before... Oh and yah, I also HATE rovers.

They were made completely out of structural parts yeah?

Scott manley has a video on how craft like that summon krakens

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They were made completely out of structural parts yeah?

Scott manley has a video on how craft like that summon krakens

No, not at all. They were pure stock, made with that flat shoebox-shaped core thingy with wheels on it. I'm sure they had some "official" mass in the physics engine. I had used the exact same design on many other bodies. At the time I put it down to the very low gravity on Minmus and the fact that I was on a big skating rink...

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