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Currently using the following URL, until we figure out a domain name.

Contact Us

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We are looking for a name for our rover. Please submit your suggestions here.

Current Events/Plans

We just exhibited at the Caltech Science for March on March 16th, from 10am to 3pm.

We just presented our talk, "The Trouble with Rovers" (Slides) at the Southern California Linux Expo at the Pasadena Convention Center on March 9th.


SGVHAK is a maker group based in the San Gabriel Valley.

The JPL Open Source Rover is a relatively inexpensive and accessible project for high school and college classes to exercise mechanical and electronics and software engineering using parts that could be easily sourced from hobbyist stores.

JPL beta-tested their build instructions at a few schools and with the SGVHAK maker group. The ultimate goal was to refine the build instructions and grow a community of experienced builders to help provide support once the rover documentation and code were open sourced.

The SGVHAK maker group built the rover over the period of 3 months, starting in January 2018, while giving JPL significant feedback and build photos. The team mainly consisted of Lan Dang, Roger Cheng, David Flynn, John Wang, Emily Velasco, and Amy Baldwin. We diverged from the original design most significantly in the wheel design, motor selection, and software.

By March 2018, we were able to exhibit the SGVHAK rover at the SCaLE 16x, the Caltech Science for March. In May, we were invited to the JPL IT Expo, a JPL internal event highlighting the latest trends in technology. In December, we exhibited at the DTLA Mini Maker Faire.

We are speaking at SCaLE 17x on March 9th at the Pasadena Convention Center.

We were interviewed by the Command Line Heroes podcast. You may hear some familiar voices on season 2, episode 8 "Open Curiosity".
Command Line Heroes S2 E8 twitter image

Below is the JPL Open Source Rover, the SGVHAK Rover, and Sawppy at the JPL IT Expo. alt text

This is a personal account of our adventures at the DTLA Mini Maker Faire 2018, illustrated with photos and links.

Kids driving SGVHAK Rover at DTLA Mini Maker Faire

Future plans

Building rovers is a never-ending process. The SGVHAK rover itself is always under construction. We recently changed out the planetary gears, which were originally 60:1 with new 3D printed gears that are 21:1, so it now drives 3 times faster. We have plans to add a robot arm, pan-tilt webcam, and maybe even Lidar. Roger wants to move to ROS. Our members have already started coming up with their own rover designs and builds. All the code and 3D printer files are on GitHub.

We participate in the Open Source Rover community, which started having monthly video teleconferences for the builders. Our first call on March 6, 2019, was a huge hit.

Website and documentation

This is currently under construction. A great deal of documentation and photos and videos are in Google Drive or on Lan's phone and computer and needs to be cleaned up.

Roger Cheng was our best documentarian and has a lot of info and photos in his build log and forum description.

SGVHAK links

JPL Open Source Rover Links


For posterity, here is a timeline of events, to the best of our memory.

  • Dec 2017 - Joined JPL Open Source Rover beta build group
  • Jan 4, 2018 - JPL reference documentation available
  • Jan 5, 2018 - Started buying parts
  • Jan 29, 2018 - testing wheel assembly, beginning of software interface
  • Feb 15, 2018 - Toured JPL, saw Curiosity engineering model, met JPL OSR and talked shop
  • March 10, 2018 - SGVHAK Rover and JPL OSR exhibit at SCALE The Next Generation Playground
  • March 31, 2018 - SGVHAK Rover exhibits at Caltech Science for March
  • May 8, 2018 - SGVHAK Rover and Sawppy invited to JPL IT Expo
  • Jul 31, 2018 - JPL formally announces JPL Open Source Rover
  • Oct 2018 - upgrade planetary gears to speed up SGVHAK rover
  • Oct 22, 2018 - visited by Command Line Heroes audio producer to get soundbites from SGVHAK rover build session
  • Dec 1, 2018 - DTLA Mini Maker Faire - faster rover
  • Dec 18, 2018 - Command Line Heroes podcast is live. Listen for us at 3:13 to 3:58 and 24:47 to 25:16
  • Feb 9, 2019 - Santa Susana STEAM Expo - new magnetic hubcaps
  • Feb 20, 2019 - SGVHAK Rover borrowed for JPL outreach event at Logan McBride HS in Long Beach
  • Mar 9, 2019 - "Trouble with Rovers" talk at SCALE 17x - new LED face
  • Mar 16, 2019 - Caltech Science for March, with Santa Susana HS