Locomotion Modes for a Hybrid Wheeled-Leg Planetary Rover

Florian Cordes, Alexander Dettmann, Frank Kirchner

In: Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (IEEE-ROBIO-11) December 7-11 Phuket Thailand Pages 2586-2592 ISBN 978-1-4577-2137-3 12/2011.


This paper introduces locomotion modes for the planetary rover Sherpa1. The rover`s locomotion system consists of four wheeled-legs, each providing a total of six degrees of freedom. The design of the active suspension system allows a wide range of posture and drive modes for the rover. Self locking gears in the suspension system allow to maintain the body height without the need of actively driving the actuators. Thus, energy efficient wheeled locomotion and at the same time high flexibility in ground adaption and obstacle negotiation, as well as high payload capabilities are possible. Furthermore the rover will be equipped with a manipulator arm explicitly designed to be used for locomotion support. Thus, all degrees of freedom of the system can be used to enhance the locomotive capabilities. This paper gives an overview of the mechanical design of the rover and gives some kinematic considerations for the movement constraints on the wheel contact points. With these constraints, the wheel motions can be calculated, taking into account the flexible posture of the rover. A first set of possible locomotion modes for the rover is presented in this paper.


2011_cordes_ROBIO.pdf (pdf, 15 MB)

German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz