Mechanical Design and Basic Run Experiments with the Tri-StarIII – Horizontal Polyarticular Expandable 3-Wheeled Planetary Rover –
Kenjiro Tadakuma*, Masatsugu Matsumoto**,
and Shigeo Hirose***
*Mechanical Engineering and Intelligent Systems, The University of Electro-Communications, 1-5-1, Chofugaoka, Chofu-shi, Tokyo, Japan
**Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, LTD, 43-209-S302, Ozakiyama, Narumi-cho, Midori-ku, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
***Tokyo Institute of Technology Dept. of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
The exploration of planets has attracted intense research efforts in recent years. It is increasingly apparent that rovers are best suited for obtaining detailed information about a planet’s surface. In this paper, we designed Tri-StarIII, a horizontal polyarticular expandable planetary rover. Inside the spacecraft, the rover is in a retracted configuration to fit in a smaller envelope. After reaching the surface of its destination planet, the rover expands to increase stability and traversability over rough terrain. Each joint angle of the arms is controlled by the driving wheels. A braking mechanism locks the joints when they are at the desired angles. The arm configuration was decided using an expandable ratio which we defined, the performance of a gripping type joint braking mechanism and a mechanism that preventing wire-twisting in the wheel steering joints are developed and experimentally confirmed. Basic expanding motion and step and slope traversal experiments have been preformed.
and Shigeo Hirose, “Mechanical Design and Basic Run Experiments with the Tri-StarIII – Horizontal Polyarticular Expandable 3-Wheeled Planetary Rover –,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.20, No.6, pp. 887-895, 2008.
-  E.A. LeMaster, M. Matsuoka, and S. M. Rock, “Mars navigation system utilizes GPS,“ Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE Vol.18, Issue 4, pp. 3-8, 2003.
-  S. B. Goldberg, M. W. Maimone, and L. Matthies, “Stereo vision and rover navigation software for planetary exploration,“ Aerospace Conf. Proc., 2002. IEEE, Vol.5, pp. 9-16, pp. 5-2025–5-2036, 2002.
-  B. Wilcox, L. Matthies, D. Gennery, B. Cooper, T. Nguyen, T. Litwin, A. Mishkin, and H. Stone, “Robotic vehicles for planetary exploration,“ Proc., 1992 IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Vol.1, pp. 175-180, 1992.
-  R.A. Lindemann, and C.J. Voorhees, “Mars Exploration Rover mobility assembly design, test and performance,“ 2005 IEEE Int. Conf. on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, pp. 450-455, 2005.
-  S. Hirose, H. Kuwahara, Y. Wakabayashi, and N. Yoshioka, “The Mobility Design Cocepts/Characteristics & Ground Testing of an Offset-Wheel Rover Vehicle,“ Proc. Int. Conf. On Mobile Planetary Robots & Rover Roundup, pp. 1-14, 1997.
-  http://www-robotics.jpl.nasa.gov/news/newsStory.cfm?NewsID=62
-  E. Rollins, J. Luntz, A. Foessel, B. Shamah, andW.Whittaker, “Nomad: a demonstration of the transforming chassis,“ Proc.. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Vol.1, pp. 611-617, 1998.
-  S. Hirose, N. Ootsukasa, T. Shirasu, H. Kuwahara, and K. Yoneda, “Fundamental Considerations for the Design of a Planetary Rover,“ Proc. ICRA, Vol.2, pp. 1939-1944, 1995.
-  K. Tadakuma, M. Matsumoto, and S. Hirose, “Mechanical Design of Joint Braking Mechanism and Underactuated Performance of Horizontal Polyarticular Arm Equipped 3-Wheeled Expandable Mobile Robot: “Tri-Star3“,“ Proc. of The IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (IROS 2006), 2006.
Copyright© 2008 by Fuji Technology Press Ltd. and Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers. All right reserved.