Simulation and Control of a Passively Articulated, Segmented-Body Rover
Wasserman, Timothy Andrew
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Mobility will be a key aspect of future planetary surface missions. A rover with several segments connected by rotary joints promises much capability in terrain traversal, but is not well understood. In this thesis, a computer model was built to simulate the movements of a passively articulated, segmented-body rover. Its main components are a linearized soil-wheel interaction model, a Newton-Euler based dynamic model, and a PD control module to regulate steering and handle disturbances. The simulation outputs were compared against results from past research on fixed-chassis vehicles. Next, the simulation was used to investigate the driving and turning behavior of articulated vehicles, and their controllability using a simple control system. It was found that the vehicle is relatively stable, and that simple control is possible.