Design and Control of a Passively Steered, Dual Axle Vehicle

Michael D. Wagner, Stuart Heys, David Wettergreen, James Teza, Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos, George A. Kantor, and William (Red) L. Whittaker
8th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, October, 2005.


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Abstract
In this paper we describe the steering, suspension and control systems of the rover Zo? a solar-powered robot designed to explore the Mars-like landscapes of the Atacama Desert in Chile. We are developing the Zo?chassis as an alternative to the traditional six-wheeled, rocker-bogie system used by Mars rovers flown in the past ten years. Zo?travels over rough terrain using only four independent drive motors. Steering is accomplished by differentially driving pairs of these motors to passively articulate front and rear steering axles. In this paper we present a detailed mechanical design of the chassis, a description of Zo?s steering controller and results of steering controller tests that validate this design. We also include lessons learned after field experiments in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

Keywords
Mobile robotics, control, chassis design

Notes
Sponsor: NASA
Grant ID: NAG5-12890
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Life in the Atacama
Number of pages: 8

Text Reference
Michael D. Wagner, Stuart Heys, David Wettergreen, James Teza, Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos, George A. Kantor, and William (Red) L. Whittaker, "Design and Control of a Passively Steered, Dual Axle Vehicle," 8th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, October, 2005.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Wagner_2005_5124,
   author = "Michael D Wagner and Stuart Heys and David Wettergreen and James Teza and Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos and George A Kantor and William (Red) L. Whittaker",
   title = "Design and Control of a Passively Steered, Dual Axle Vehicle",
   booktitle = "8th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space",
   month = "October",
   year = "2005",
}