Rover unable to start up properly

Hello all,

I have been using the Leo Rover for a research project for a few months. A week ago, the rover started taking a longer time to start up and slowly started having trouble to start at all. To elaborate on the start up troubles, it would sometimes take 5 mins+ to start up (by start up, i mean the WIFI lights + Battery LED to light up) and the other times it would not start up after 10 minutes.

When it would not start up, I would turn off the battery power and turn it on again, and wait for it to start up. As time progressed, it would require more and more attempts at turning it on and off to have the rover start up. Obviously, something was wrong.

Last Thursday, I decided to reflash the SD card as I read a post on this forum that a corrupted SD might be the one preventing the wifi to start up. I tried it and now the WIFI never lights up anymore regardless of the time after turning on the battery switch. Only the rpi and core2 board lights turn on for the entire duration the battery is switched on. However, only the red LED of the pi turns on immediately when the power button is switched on and only after a few seconds, the green LED turns on very but very faintly.

I checked if the wifi usb was working by connecting it to my laptop and yes it was working. I tried connecting a wired mouse to the USB ports of th pi but the mouse doesnt light up at all. At this point, I assumed that my SD card was corrupted and bought a new SD card today. I flashed on the new SD card and the rover still does not start up + USB ports do no seem to work. I have also tried connecting to the pi throught Ethernet cable, but the Ethernet port does not light up and my laptop does not detect the pi at all.

To clarify, I have not added a external hardware on the rover and only have been flashing a modified version of the .hex firmware onto the rover. The modified version of the firmware is mostly used to allow python codes to control the motors of the rover.

I am a sort of a newbie to the world of ROS and pi, so any advice would be great. I hope I have explained the problem properly and sorry if its too long and confusing but I wasn’t sure which parts to leave out.

Hello, we’ll try to find out what might have happened asap.
Can you write here or via PM to me when and via which institution did you buy the Rover? This way I’ll be able to track which version you have.
As well, do you have microSD card extender in the Rover casing or connect microSD card directly to the RPi?

Hi Szymon, I managed to find a workaround by swapping the batteries of my rover with another rover. So the problem was most likely with the batteries.

To give a bit more of a backgorund, our project has bought 3 rovers initially, however only 2 rovers were constantly in use for our project currently and both these rovers starting having startup problems at around the same timeframe. My post only discussed about the one rover which was in my care but in truth, the other rover involved in our project also had startup issues but it was not as serious as the rover mentioned in my post.

Today, we gathered together and tried the unused 3rd rover’s batteries with the first 2 rovers and both rovers could startup normally but there still were delays and startup issues at times. It is assumed that the 2 problematic batteries are unable to provide the current requiered to startup the pi + core2 board properly as the voltage values of both were around 12 V.

We bought 3 rovers via Monash University Malaysia. One arrived in February 2020 and the other 2 arrived in June.

Yes, one rover has a microSD card extender. And yes, I did try with and without using the extender as I a saw a forum post about the extender being the problem.

TLDR; Battery is the one causing the issue here for . So swapping with the battery of another rover that wasn’t used yet solved it for now. However, there still are delayed startup at times.

Hi, we still have 2 remaining Rovers to be sent to you and we’ll add more battery packets for you to swap the faulty ones. Maybe they were just depleted and now don’t keep the performance.
Red led on RasbperryPi means low voltage, so this exactly may cause the issues. If the Rover boots too long it may mean the filesystem is corrupt and it tries to fix it.

Do you use the newest LeoOS image for the system? (it has automatic filesystem fix turned on on boot)
Try not using the extender at all as there are some strange issues with RPi 3B+ and then with 4B it just doesn’t work.