Experimental Characterization of a Robotic Inflatable Wheel

Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos, Michael D. Wagner, Patrick (Chris) Leger, and Jack Jones
Proceedings of the ISAIRAS 2005 Conference Munich, Germany, 5-8 Sep 2005, ESA SP-603, 5-8 September, 2005 , October, 2005.


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Abstract
Inflatable wheels are a promising concept for long-range exploration of Mars as well as extremely rugged terrestrial terrains. This paper describes experimental studies that characterize the mobility of a single robotic inflatable wheel in terms of its ability to negotiate Mars-like cohesion-less soils, climb large discrete obstacles and endure the wear and tear caused by driving over kilometers of abrasive rocks. These studies were performed with a testbed apparatus that allowed variation of tire design, wheel loading, speed / acceleration profiles, tire pressure and traverse length. An in-line brushless motor controlled by a PID velocity control loop drives the wheel. This paper summarizes the most significant experimental results and discusses the impact of those results on aspects of robotic vehicles with inflatable wheels, such as state estimation and motion control.

Keywords
inflatable wheel, inflatable robotic rover,robotic mobility, motion control, robot design, space robotics

Notes

Text Reference
Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos, Michael D. Wagner, Patrick (Chris) Leger, and Jack Jones, "Experimental Characterization of a Robotic Inflatable Wheel," Proceedings of the ISAIRAS 2005 Conference Munich, Germany, 5-8 Sep 2005, ESA SP-603, 5-8 September, 2005 , October, 2005.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Apostolopoulos_2005_7074,
   author = "Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos and Michael D Wagner and Patrick (Chris) Leger and Jack Jones",
   title = "Experimental Characterization of a Robotic Inflatable Wheel",
   booktitle = "Proceedings of the ISAIRAS 2005 Conference Munich, Germany, 5-8 Sep 2005, ESA SP-603, 5-8 September, 2005 ",
   month = "October",
   year = "2005",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-",
}