Motion dynamics and control of a planetary rover with slip-based traction model

Kazuya Yoshida, Hiroshi Hamano

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates kinetic behavior of a planetary rover with attention to tire-soil traction mechanics and articulated body dynamics, and thereby study the control when the rover travels over natural rough terrain. Experiments are carried out with a rover test bed to observe the physical phenomena of soils and to model the traction mechanics, using the tire slip ratio as a state variable. The relationship of load-traction factor versus the slip ratio is modeled theoretically then verified by experiments, as well as specific parameters to characterize the soil are identified. A dynamic simulation model is developed considering the characteristics of wheel actuators, the mechanics of tire-soil traction, and the articulated body dynamics of a suspension mechanism. Simulations are carried out to be compared with the corresponding experimental data and verified to represent the physical behavior of a rover. Finally, a control method is proposed and tested. The proposed method keeps the slip ratio within a small value and limits excessive tire force, so that the rover can successfully traverse over the obstacle without digging the soil or being stuck.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-286
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2002
EventUnmanned Ground Vehicle Technology IV - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 2002 Apr 22002 Apr 3


  • Articulated body dynamics
  • Load traction factor
  • Planetary exploration
  • Rover test bed
  • Slip ratio
  • Tire-soil mechanics


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