Carnegie Mellon University
Rover Configuration for Exploring Lunar Craters

Jason Ziglar
tech. report CMU-RI-TR-07-42, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, December, 2007

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Configuration of locomotion for planetary rovers is motivated by increased interest in exploring lunar polar craters. Current rover designs cannot achieve the ascent or descent required by steep, unconsolidated lunar slopes. New designs must provide locomotive capability for steep climbing, techniques for controlling slip, and safely navigating down and along steep slopes. We propose a locomotion system designed to show unprecedented capabilities in steep terrain through a track-based system featuring a low center of gravity and an actuated, omni-directional plowing device. Experimental results show unprecedented locomotion in steep terrain, capable of controlled ascent on 35° slopes, controlled descent and point turning on 38° slopes. For descent, the use of a plow is shown to reduce slip twenty-fold in linear descent, and threefold in point turns.

robotic design, crater descent, planetary robotics,

Sponsor: NASA
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Lunar Rover Initiative

Text Reference
Jason Ziglar, "Rover Configuration for Exploring Lunar Craters," tech. report CMU-RI-TR-07-42, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, December, 2007

BibTeX Reference
   author = "Jason Ziglar",
   title = "Rover Configuration for Exploring Lunar Craters",
   booktitle = "",
   institution = "Robotics Institute",
   month = "December",
   year = "2007",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-07-42",
   address= "Pittsburgh, PA",