Publication news

Drawbar pull of a wheel with an actively actuated lug on sandy terrain

Yang Yang, Yi Sun, Shugen Ma
Journal of Terramechanics, Volume 56, December 2014, Pages 17-24, ISSN 0022-4898,
Abstract: Sandy terrains are widely distributed across terrestrial, lunar and Martian surfaces. These surfaces are difficult to traverse, and their access presents an ongoing challenge for mobile robots. This paper introduces a novel wheeled mechanism integrated with an actively actuated lug. The drawbar pull characteristics are measured on a prototype mechanism affixed to the fabricated testbed undergoing a complete lug–soil interaction process. By tuning the sinkage length of the active lug, the developed wheeled mechanism can dampen the fluctuations of the drawbar pull that arise when using a fixed lugged wheel. The performance of the developed wheeled mechanism is highlighted by comparing its generated drawbar pull with that generated by a smooth wheel and a fixed lugged wheel.
Keywords: Terramechanics; Sandy terrain; Lug trajectory; Wheeled robot; Active lug; Drawbar pull