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Proceedings Paper

Biplanar bicycle as a base vehicle for autonomous applications
Author(s): Philip R. Kedrowski; Charles F. Reinholtz; Michael S. Abbott; David C. Conner
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Paper Abstract

Virginia Tech has developed a novel two-wheeled vehicle termed the biplanar bicycle. This vehicle differs from the traditional bicycle in that both wheels rotate about a common axis, thus orienting the wheels side by side instead of front to back. Drive motors generate the propulsive torque by acting against a central reaction mass (the vehicle body) suspended from the axle. This vehicle offers several advantages over traditional wheeled vehicles. Among these are inherent stability, self-righting ability, and excellent mobility in two degrees of freedom (the ground plane). The physical architecture makes the vehicle exceedingly nimble through a wide range of speeds. Further, the entire mass of this vehicle is distributed between the two drive wheels, thus maximizing the available frictional driving force. The vehicle dynamics resulting from the system geometry affords very low slip and good acceleration. These advantages, coupled with a simple mechanical design, make the biplanar bicycle a good candidate for use as a platform vehicle in autonomous applications. Some potential applications include rail line inspection, landmine/UXO detection, and planetary exploration. This paper presents results from prototype testing of the biplanar bicycle. Various issues concerning sensors and control strategies unique to this vehicle are examined. While the conceptual basis of this vehicle may be counterintuitive, the design is fundamentally sound and viable for autonomous vehicle applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 March 2001
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4195, Mobile Robots XV and Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies VII, (2 March 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.417310
Show Author Affiliations
Philip R. Kedrowski, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Charles F. Reinholtz, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Michael S. Abbott, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
David C. Conner, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4195:
Mobile Robots XV and Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies VII
Matthew R. Stein; Howie M. Choset; Douglas W. Gage; Matthew R. Stein, Editor(s)

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