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Proceedings Paper

Field validation of Nomad's robotic locomotion
Author(s): Benjamin Shamah; Dimitrios Apostolopoulos; Eric Rollins; William L. Whittaker
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Paper Abstract

During June and July of 1997, a mobile robot named Nomad traversed 223km in the Atacama Desert of southern Chile via transcontinental teleoperation. This unprecedented accomplishment is primarily attributed to Nomad's innovative locomotion design which features four-wheel/all-wheel drive locomotion, a reconfigurable chassis, electronically coordinated steering, pivot-arm suspension, and body motion averaging. Nomad's locomotion was configured through systematic analysis and simulations of the robot's predicted performance in a variety of terrain negotiation scenarios. Experimental work with a single wheel apparatus was sued to determine the effect of repeated traffic and tread pattern on power draw. Field test before and during the Atacama traverse demonstrated Nomad's substantial terrainability and autonomous navigation capabilities, and validated theoretical performance projections made during its geometric configuration. Most recently, the augmentation of the internal monitoring system with a variety of sensors has enabled a much more comprehensive characterization of Nomad's terrain performance. Because of Nomad's unique steering design a comparison of skid and explicit steering was performed by monitoring wheel torque and power during steady state turns. This paper summarizes the process and metrics of Nomad's mobility configuration, and reports on experimental data gathered during locomotion testing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 January 1999
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3525, Mobile Robots XIII and Intelligent Transportation Systems, (8 January 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.335700
Show Author Affiliations
Benjamin Shamah, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (United States)
Dimitrios Apostolopoulos, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (United States)
Eric Rollins, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (United States)
William L. Whittaker, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3525:
Mobile Robots XIII and Intelligent Transportation Systems
Howie M. Choset; Douglas W. Gage; Pushkin Kachroo; Mikhail A. Kourjanski; Marten J. de Vries; Pushkin Kachroo; Mikhail A. Kourjanski; Marten J. de Vries, Editor(s)

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