This paper presents a procedure to model the drawbar pull and resistive torque of an unknown terrain as a function of normal load and slip using on-board rover instruments. Kapvik , which is a planetary micro-rover prototype with a rocker-bogie mobility system, is simulated in two dimensions. A suite of sensors is used to take relevant measurements; in addition to typical rover measurements, forces above the wheel hubs and rover forward velocity are sensed. An estimator determines the drawbar pull, resistive torque, normal load, and slip of the rover. The collected data are used to create a polynomial fit model that closely resembles the real terrain response.

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IEEE Transactions on Robotics
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Setterfield, T.P. (Timothy P.), & Ellery, A. (2013). Terrain response estimation using an instrumented rocker-bogie mobility system. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 29(1), 172–188. doi:10.1109/TRO.2012.2223591