Our long-term goal is one of designing land-based vehicles to provide enhanced uneven-terrain locomotion capabilities. In this paper, we examine and evaluate candidate articulated leg-wheel subsystem designs for use in such vehicle systems. The leg-wheel subsystem designs under consideration consist of disk wheels attached to the chassis through an articulated linkage containing multiple lower-pair joints. Our emphasis is on creating a design that permits the greatest motion flexibility between the chassis and wheel while maintaining the smallest degree-of-freedom (DOF) within the articulated chain. We focus our attention on achieving two goals: (i) obtaining adequate ground clearance by designing the desired/feasible motions of the wheel axle, relative to the chassis, using methods from kinematic synthesis; and (ii) reducing overall actuation requirements by a judicious mix of structural equilibration design and spring assist. This process is examined in detail in the context of two candidate single-degree-of-freedom designs for the articulated-leg-wheel subsystems—a coupled-serial-chain configuration and a four-bar configuration. We considered the design synthesis of planar variants of the two candidate designs surmounting a representative obstacle profile while supporting a set of end-effector loads and highlight the key benefits in the presented results.

1.
Hacot
,
H.
,
Dubowsky
,
S.
, and
Bidaud
,
P.
, 1998, “
Modeling and Analysis of a Rocker-Bogie Planetary Exploration Rover
,”
Proceedings of the 12th CISM-IFToMM Symposium (RoManSy 98)
, July 6–9, Paris, France.
2.
Hacot
,
H.
, 1998, “
Analysis and Traction Control of a Rocker-Bogie Planetary Rover
,” M.S. thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA.
3.
Siegwart
,
R.
,
Lamon
,
P.
,
Estier
,
T.
,
Lauria
,
M.
, and
Piguet
,
R.
, 2002, “
Innovative Design for Wheeled Locomotion in Rough Terrain
,”
Robotics and Autonomous Systems
,
40
(
2
), pp.
151
162
.
4.
Wettergreen
,
D.
,
Bualat
,
M.
,
Christian
,
D.
,
Schwehr
,
K.
,
Thomas
,
H.
,
Tucker
,
D.
, and
Zbinden
,
E.
, 1997, “
Operating Nomad During the Atacama Desert Trek
,”
Proceedings of Field and Service Robotics Conference
, December 7–10, Canberra, Australia.
5.
Halme
,
A.
,
Leppänen
,
I.
, and
Salmi
,
S.
, 1999, “
Development of Workpartner-Robot—Design of Actuating and Motion Control System
,”
2nd International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR 99)
, Portsmouth, England,
Wiley Publishers
, September 13–15, pp.
657
666
.
6.
Halme
,
A.
,
Leppänen
,
I.
,
Montonen
,
M.
, and
Ylönen
,
S.
, 2001, “
Robot Motion by Simultaneous Wheel and Leg Propulsion
,”
Fourth International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR'01)
, Karlsruhe, Germany,
Professional Engineering, Publishing Ltd.
, September 25–27, pp.
1013
1020
.
7.
Hirose
,
S.
, 2000, “
Super Mechano-System
,”
International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER2000)
, Daniela Rus, ed., Springer-Verlag, December 10–13, Honolulu, HI.
8.
Song
,
S. -M.
, and
Waldron
,
K.
, 1988,
The Adaptive Suspension Vehicle
,
MIT Press
, Cambridge, MA.
9.
Berns
,
K.
, 2002,
The Walking Machine Catalogue
,
URL:http://www.walking-machines.org/URL:http://www.walking-machines.org/.
10.
Bekker
,
M.
, 1956,
Theory of Land Locomotion: The Mechanics of Vehicle Locomotion: The Mechanics of Vehicle Mobility
,
The University of Michigan Press
, Ann Arbor, MI.
11.
Bekker
,
M.
, 1969,
Introduction to Terrain Vehicle Systems
,
The University of Michigan Press
, Ann Arbor, MI.
12.
Wong
,
J.
, 1989,
Terramechanics and Off-road Vehicles
,
Elsevier
, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
13.
Sreenivasan
,
S. V.
, and
Waldron
,
K. J.
, 1996, “
Displacement Analysis of an Actively Articulated Wheeled Vehicle Configuration With Extensions to Motion Planning on Uneven Terrain
,”
ASME J. Mech. Des.
1050-0472
118
(
2
), pp.
312
320
.
14.
Endo
,
G.
, and
Hirose
,
S.
, 1999, “
Study on Roller-Walker: System Integration and Basic Experiments
,”
Proceedings of 1999 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
, Detroit, Michigan, May 10–15, pp.
2031
2037
.
15.
Endo
,
G.
, and
Hirose
,
S.
, 2000, “
Study on Roller-Walker (Multi-Mode Steering Control and Self-Contained Locomotion)
,”
Proceedings of 2000 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
, San Francisco, CA, April 24–28, pp.
2808
2814
.
16.
Hiller
,
M.
, and
German
,
D.
, 2002, “
Manoeuvrability of the Legged and Wheeled Vehicle ALDURO in Uneven Terrain with Consideration of Nonholonomic Constraints
,”
Proceeding off 2002 International Symposium on Mechatronics (ISOM 2002)
, March 21–22, Chemnitz, Germany.
17.
Krovi
,
V.
, 1998, “
Design and Virtual Prototyping of User-Customized Assistive Devices
,” Ph.D. thesis, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
18.
Krovi
,
V.
,
Ananthasuresh
,
G. K.
, and
Kumar
,
V.
, 2002, “
Kinematic and Kinetostatic Synthesis of Planar Coupled Serial Chains
,”
ASME J. Manuf. Sci. Eng.
1087-1357
124
(
2
), pp.
l43
l55
.
19.
Sandor
,
G.
, and
Erdman
,
A. G.
, 1984,
Advanced Mechanism Design: Analysis and Synthesis
,
Prentice–Hall
, International Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Vol.
2
.
20.
Norton
,
R.
, 2004,
Design of Machinery
,
3rd ed.
,
McGraw–Hill
, New York.
21.
Jun
,
S. K.
, 2004, “
Kinetostatic Design of an Articulated Leg-Wheel Locomotion Subsystem
,” M.S. thesis, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.
You do not currently have access to this content.