Evolution of a Four Wheeled Active Suspension Rover with Minimal Actuation for Rough Terrain Mobility

Arun Kumar Singh    Vijay Prakash Eathakota    K. Madhava Krishna    Arun.H.Patil   

IIIT Hyderabad, India   

In this paper we deduce the evolution of a four wheeled active suspension rover from a five wheeled passive suspension rover. The aim of this paper is to design a suspension mechanism which utilizes the advantages of both passive suspension and active suspension rover. Both the design considered here are simpler than the existing suspension mechanisms in the sense that the number of links as wells as the number of joints have been significantly reduced without compromising the climbing capability of the rover. We first analyze the kinematics of the five wheeled rover and its motion pattern while climbing an obstacle and try to deduce the same motion pattern and capability in the four wheeled rover. Both the suspension mechanism consists of two planar closed kinematic chains on each side of the rover. We also deduce the control strategy for the active suspension rover wherein only two actuators are used to control the internal configuration of the rover. To the best of author’s knowledge this is the minimum number of actuators required to control the internal configuration of a active suspension while operating on a fully 3D rough terrain. Extensive uneven terrain simulations are performed for both 5-wheeled and 4-wheeled rover and a comparative analysis has been done on maximum coefficient of friction and torque requirements