Abstract

Current literature pertaining to multi-steerable mobile platforms and the progression of military vehicles in the past few decades suggest a lack of effort in pursuing advanced technologies in this joint area. As a result, a novel 1:6 scaled electric combat vehicle prototype that features eight independently driven and steerable wheels is designed and developed in this paper. The intent is to create a scaled model for future autonomous vehicle navigation and control research in off road terrains. Starting with the mechanical design, this paper discusses the details of the chassis, suspension, driving and steering systems development. The electronics necessary for vehicle actuation is implemented with custom nodes and topics created for hardware communication within the Robot Operating System (ROS). Lastly, path planning and obstacle avoidance abilities are implemented to achieve autonomous navigation. The result of this work is a fully functional and instrumented robotic platform with a modular software architecture. Vehicle design analysis, performance and autonomous navigation abilities are experimentally tested with promising results.

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