First Experimental Investigations on Wheel-Walking for Improving Triple-Bogie Rover Locomotion Performances
In Advanced Space Technologies for Robotics and Automation, (ASTRA), 11.5.-13.5.2013, Noordwijk, inproceedings ASTRA, 2015.
Deployment actuators of a triple-bogie rover locomotion platform can be used to perform Wheel-Walking (WW) manoeuvres. How WW could affect the traversing capabilities of rovers is a recurrent debate in the planetary robotics community. The Automation and Robotics Section of ESTEC has initiated a long term project to evaluate the performance of WW manoeuvres in different scenarios. This paper presents the first experimental results on this project, obtained during the test campaign run on November 2014 at the Planetary Robotics Lab (PRL) of ESTEC, and shows the performance analysis made when comparing WW with standard rolling. The PRL rover prototype ExoTeR was used to test three different scenarios: entrapment in loose soil, up-slope traverse and lander egressing. WW locomotion showed increased capabilities in all scenarios and proved its relevance and advantages for planetary exploration missions.