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Proceedings Paper

Sinkage and slippage estimation for an articulated vehicle
Author(s): Brian H. Wilcox
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes an approach to estimating in real-time the degree to which an articulated robotic vehicle is undergoing wheel slip and/or sinkage in soft terrain. Robotic vehicles generally have hazard avoidance sensors which measure the shape of the sensible surface, and these can be used to predict what the articulation pose of the vehicle will be as it moves over the surface. An articulated vehicle (one with three or more wheels on each side) can directly measure the shape of the loadbearing surface by combining inclination and articulation sensing. Delays between the actual articulations and the expectations can be explained by wheel slippage. Differences between the expectation and the actual articulations can be explained by sinkage below the sensed surface. If one assumes that successive wheels on each side follow the same profile as the front wheel (sinking the same amount, if any, into the soil), then it is possible to estimate sinkage and slippage separately. A Maximum-A-Posteriori estimation procedure formalizing this heuristic approach is developed and simulated, and the results presented and discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 July 2002
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4715, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology IV, (17 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.474458
Show Author Affiliations
Brian H. Wilcox, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4715:
Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology IV
Grant R. Gerhart; Chuck M. Shoemaker; Douglas W. Gage, Editor(s)

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