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Design and experimental characterization of an omnidirectional unmanned ground vehicle for unstructured terrain

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 May 2014

Chenghui Nie
Affiliation:
Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering Department, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
Marin Assaliyski
Affiliation:
Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering Department, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
Matthew Spenko*
Affiliation:
Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering Department, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
*
*Corresponding author. E-mail: mspenko@iit.edu

Summary

This paper describes the design and experimental validation of an omnidirectional unmanned ground vehicle built for operation on real-world, unstructured terrains. The omnidirectional capabilities of this robot give it advantages over skid-steered or Ackermann-steered vehicles in tight and confined spaces. The robot's conventional wheels allow for operation in natural, outdoor environments as compared to omnidirectional robots that use specialized wheels with small, slender rollers and parts that can easily become obstructed with debris and dirt. Additionally, the robot's active split offset caster design allows the robot to kinematically follow continuous but non-differentiable paths and heading angles regardless of its current kinematic configuration. The active split offset caster design also results in less scrubbing torque and therefore less energy consumption during steering as compared to actively steered caster designs. The focus of this paper is the robot's mechanical design as it relates to kinematic isotropy and experimental validation of the design.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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