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Study on a Suspension of a Planetary Exploration Rover to Improve Driving Performance During Overcoming Obstacles

Eom, We-Sub;Kim, Youn-Kyu;Lee, Joo-Hee;Choi, Gi-Hyuk;Sim, Eun-Sup

  • Received : 2012.09.30
  • Accepted : 2012.10.22
  • Published : 2012.12.15

Abstract

The planetary exploration rover executes various missions after moving to the target point in an unknown environment in the shortest distance. Such missions include the researches for geological and climatic conditions as well as the existence of water or living creatures. If there is any obstacle on the way, it is detected by such sensors as ultrasonic sensor, infrared light sensor, stereo vision, and laser ranger finder. After the obtained data is transferred to the main controller of the rover, decisions can be made to either overcome or avoid the obstacle on the way based on the operating algorithm of the rover. All the planetary exploration rovers which have been developed until now receive the information of the height or width of the obstacle from such sensors before analyzing it in order to find out whether it is possible to overcome the obstacle or not. If it is decided to be better to overcome the obstacle in terms of the operating safety and the electric consumption of the rover, it is generally made to overcome it. Therefore, for the purpose of carrying out the planetary exploration task, it is necessary to design the proper suspension system of the rover which enables it to safely overcome any obstacle on the way on the surface in any unknown environment. This study focuses on the design of the new double 4-bar linkage type of suspension system applied to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute rover (a tentatively name) that is currently in the process of development by our institute in order to develop the planetary exploration rover which absolutely requires the capacity of overcoming any obstacle. Throughout this study, the negative moment which harms the capacity of the rover for overcoming an obstacle was induced through the dynamical modeling process for the rocker-bogie applied to the Mars exploration rover of the US and the improved version of rocker-bogie as well as the suggested double 4-bar linkage type of suspension system. Also, based on the height of the obstacle, a simulation was carried out for the negative moment of the suspension system before the excellence of the suspension system suggested through the comparison of responding characteristics was proved.

Keywords

mobile robot;planetary exploration rover;rover suspension;rocker-bogie suspension;double 4-bar linkage suspension

References

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