Field Validation of Nomad's Robotic Locomotion

Benjamin Shamah, Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos, Eric Rollins, and William (Red) L. Whittaker
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society of Photo-Optical Engineering, December, 1998, pp. 214-222.


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Abstract
During June and July of 1997, a mobile robot named Nomad traversed 223km in the Atacama Desert of southern Chile via transcontinental teleoperation. This unprecedented accomplishment is primarily attributed to Nomad's innovative locomotion design which features four-wheel/all-wheel drive locomotion, a reconfigurable chassis, electronically coordinated steering, pivot-arm suspension, and body motion averaging. Nomad's locomotion was configured through systematic analysis and simulations of the robot's predicted performance in a variety of terrain negotiation scenarios. Experimental work with a single wheel apparatus was used to determine the effect of repeated traffic and tread pattern on power draw. Field tests before and during the Atacama traverse demonstrated Nomad's substantial terrainability and autonomous navigation capabilities, and validated theoretical performance projections made during its geometric configuration. Most recently, the augmentation of the internal monitoring system with a variety of sensors has enabled a much more comprehensive characterization of Nomad's terrain performance. Because of Nomad's unique steering design a comparison of skid and explicit steering was performed by monitoring wheel torque and power during steady state turns. This paper summarizes the process and metrics of Nomad's mobility configuration, and reports on experimental data gathered during locomotion testing.

Keywords
Nomad locomotion, robotic locomotion, robot performance, Atacama

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Space Robotics Initiative and Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Robotic Antarctic Meteorite Search and Atacama Desert Trek
Number of pages: 9

Text Reference
Benjamin Shamah, Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos, Eric Rollins, and William (Red) L. Whittaker, "Field Validation of Nomad's Robotic Locomotion," Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society of Photo-Optical Engineering, December, 1998, pp. 214-222.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Shamah_1998_3277,
   author = "Benjamin Shamah and Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos and Eric Rollins and William (Red) L. Whittaker",
   title = "Field Validation of Nomad's Robotic Locomotion",
   booktitle = "Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society of Photo-Optical Engineering",
   pages = "214-222",
   month = "December",
   year = "1998",
   volume = "3525",
}