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Design, analysis and experiment of an eight-wheel robotic vehicle with four-swing arms

Miaolei He (Central South University, Changsha, China)
Changji Ren (Central South University, Changsha, China)
Jilin He (Central South University, Changsha, China)
Kang Wu (Sunward Intelligent Equipment Co. Ltd., Changsha, China)
Yuming Zhao (Central South University, Changsha, China)
Zhijie Wang (Sunward Intelligent Equipment Co. Ltd., Changsha, China)
Can Wu (Sunward Intelligent Equipment Co. Ltd., Changsha, China)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 17 July 2019

Issue publication date: 21 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Excellent obstacle surmounting performance is essential for the robotic vehicles in uneven terrain. However, existing robotic vehicles depend on complex mechanisms or control algorithms to surmount an obstacle. Therefore, this paper aims to propose a new simple configuration of an all-terrain robotic vehicle with eight wheels including four-swing arms.

Design/methodology/approach

This vehicle is driven by distributed hydraulic motors which provide high mobility. It possesses the ability to change the posture by means of cooperation of the four-swing arms. This ensures that the vehicle can adapt to complex terrain. In this paper, the bionic mechanism, control design and steering method of the vehicle are introduced. Then, the kinematic model of the center of gravity is studied. Afterward, the obstacle surmounting performance based on a static model is analyzed. Finally, the simulation based on ADAMS and the prototype experiment is carried out.

Findings

The experiment results demonstrate that the robotic vehicle can surmount an obstacle 2.29 times the height of the wheel radius, which verifies the feasibility of this new configuration. Therefore, this vehicle has excellent uneven terrain adaptability.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a new configuration of an all-terrain robotic vehicle with four-swing arms. With simple mechanism and control algorithms, the vehicle has a high efficiency of surmounting an obstacle. It can surmount a vertical obstacle 2.29 times the height of the wheel radius.

Keywords

Citation

He, M., Ren, C., He, J., Wu, K., Zhao, Y., Wang, Z. and Wu, C. (2019), "Design, analysis and experiment of an eight-wheel robotic vehicle with four-swing arms", Industrial Robot, Vol. 46 No. 5, pp. 682-691. https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-12-2018-0260

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited