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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2018

Guoqing Li, Yunhai Geng and Wenzheng Zhang

This paper aims to introduce an efficient active-simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) approach for rover navigation, future planetary rover exploration mission…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce an efficient active-simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) approach for rover navigation, future planetary rover exploration mission requires the rover to automatically localize itself with high accuracy.

Design/methodology/approach

A three-dimensional (3D) feature detection method is first proposed to extract salient features from the observed point cloud, after that, the salient features are employed as the candidate destinations for re-visiting under SLAM structure, followed by a path planning algorithm integrated with SLAM, wherein the path length and map utility are leveraged to reduce the growth rate of state estimation uncertainty.

Findings

The proposed approach is able to extract distinguishable 3D landmarks for feature re-visiting, and can be naturally integrated with any SLAM algorithms in an efficient manner to improve the navigation accuracy.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a novel active-SLAM structure for planetary rover exploration mission, the salient feature extraction method and active revisit patch planning method are validated to improve the accuracy of pose estimation.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 91 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2011

Giuseppe Quaglia, Luca Bruzzone, Giorgio Bozzini, Riccardo Oderio and Roberto P. Razzoli

The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a robot for surveillance able to move in structured and unstructured environments and able to overcome…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a robot for surveillance able to move in structured and unstructured environments and able to overcome obstacles with high energetic efficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed Epi.q‐TG hybrid robot combines wheeled and legged locomotion. It is equipped with four three‐wheeled locomotion units; traction is generated by the two forecarriage units, while the two rear ones have same geometry but are idle. Each front unit is actuated by a single motor with the interposition of an epicyclical gearing, accurately designed in order to suitably switch between wheeled and legged motion. The robot changes locomotion mode from rolling on wheels (advancing mode) to stepping on legs (automatic climbing mode) according to local friction and dynamic conditions.

Findings

The experimental results confirm the design objectives. In advancing mode, the robot behaves like a four‐wheeled vehicle, with high speed and energetic efficiency. In automatic climbing mode, the robot can walk on uneven and soft terrains and overcome steps with remarkable height with respect to its dimensions (up to 84 per cent of the locomotion unit height).

Practical implications

Besides surveillance, Epi.q‐TG can be successfully used in many tasks in which it is useful to combine the advantages of wheeled and legged locomotion, e.g. unmanned inspection of nuclear and chemical sites, minesweeping, and intervention in disaster zones.

Originality/value

The core of the project is the epicyclical mechanism of the locomotion unit, which switches between advancing mode and automatic climbing mode without control action. This solution limits the control and actuation complexity and consequently the robot cost, widening the range of possible applications.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2021

Tiger Yuan, Guanyou Guo, Baiyu Du, Zhiping Zhao and Weikai Xu

The purpose of this paper is to resolve the problem of the dynamic response performance of the driving control system for a six-wheeled planetary rover. An adaptive…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to resolve the problem of the dynamic response performance of the driving control system for a six-wheeled planetary rover. An adaptive sliding mode controller based on an improved genetic algorithm (IGA) to tune PID sliding surface parameters was used in the driving control system of the planetary rover.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the mathematical model of planetary rover driving control is established. Second, according to sliding mode variable structure control, an equivalent controller and a disturbance controller are constructed to solve the problem of a multi-disturbance nonlinear driving control system of planetary rovers and an IGA is used to tune PID parameters.

Findings

Simulation results show that the proposed control algorithm improves the accuracy of the driving control system and optimizes the smoothness of rover motion control.

Practical implications

The controller based on the IGA to tune PID sliding surface parameters has good self-adaptability and real-time controllability for the control object which is difficult to present a precise mathematical model.

Originality/value

The advanced control method is adopted to solve the uncertainty and external interference of planetary rovers in a complex environment. The mathematical model of the six-wheeled rover is established as the control object and the uncertainty and external disturbance of the model are considered. The controller based on IGA has good adaptability and real-time performance and the control algorithm can be used to drive robots in complex environments.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 93 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Wilfried Schroeder, Ernst Forgber and Stéphane Estable

The requirement to quickly obtain 3D measurements is common to a variety of tasks in different fields of applications, i.e. robotics, space craft rendezvous and docking…

Abstract

The requirement to quickly obtain 3D measurements is common to a variety of tasks in different fields of applications, i.e. robotics, space craft rendezvous and docking scenarios and industrial assemblies. In this paper, a novel type of non‐scanning optical 3D laser camera is presented. This is useful for both space and industrial applications. Avoiding any moving mechanical parts, the new sensor is able to exceed the frame rate and lateral resolution limits of common scanning devices, while providing both a grey‐scale image and a dense range image of the scene at the same time.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

J. Rochlis, F. Delgado and J. Graham

The goal of this research has been to design and field test a multi‐use planetary rover vehicle. SCOUT has been developed to test advanced rover hardware and software…

Abstract

Purpose

The goal of this research has been to design and field test a multi‐use planetary rover vehicle. SCOUT has been developed to test advanced rover hardware and software technologies and to enable the development and demonstration of mission operations concepts applicable to future planetary rover vehicle development activities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a description of the SCOUT vehicle capabilities and the results of the remote field testing conducted recently in Meteor Crater, AZ. These tests included (among others) onboard driving by suited crewmembers, remote teleoperation, autonomous point‐to‐point navigation, obstacle avoidance, human tracking and following, gesture recognition and onboard suit‐recharge.

Findings

SCOUT was successfully tested in all three driving modes (onboard by two suited crewmembers, teleoperation and autonomous) and additional capabilities verified over the course of the testing period.

Research limitations/impilications

Various tests experienced periodic telemetry drop‐outs to the vehicle. Future research should improve upon the communications architecture to minimize the loading on system bandwidth.

Practical implications

A multi‐use planetary rover will prove very useful on future Lunar and Martian exploration missions on an assortment of activities. In addition to equipment transport, riding on the rover will allow crewmembers to cover more surface area while conserving important extravehicular activity suit consumables.

Originality/value

Several new concepts for rover technologies are presented here including on‐board suit recharge, stereo‐vision human tracking and following, gesture recognition and autonomous driving and navigation.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2007

Antonios Bouloubasis, Gerard McKee and Peter Tolson

This paper aims to address some of the needs of present and upcoming rover designs, and introduces novel concepts incorporated in a planetary surface exploration rover

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address some of the needs of present and upcoming rover designs, and introduces novel concepts incorporated in a planetary surface exploration rover design that is currently under development.

Design/methodology/approach

The Multitasking Rover (MTR) is a highly re‐configurable system that aims to demonstrate functionality that will cover many of the current and future needs such as rough‐terrain mobility, modularity and upgradeability. lt comprises a surface mobility platform which is highly re‐configurable, which offers centre of mass re‐allocation and rough terrain stability, and also a set of science/tool packs – individual sub‐systems encapsulated in packs which the rover picks up, transports and deploys.

Findings

Early testing of the suspension system suggests exceptional performance characteristics.

Originality/value

Principles employed in the design of the MTR can be used in future rover systems to reduce associated mission costs and at the same time provide multiples the functionality.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

C.R. Weisbin, D. Lavery and G. Rodriguez

Describes the technological developments which are establishing the foundation for an exciting era of in situ exploration missions to planets, comets and asteroids with…

Abstract

Describes the technological developments which are establishing the foundation for an exciting era of in situ exploration missions to planets, comets and asteroids with advanced robotic systems. Also outlines important concurrent terrestrial applications and spin offs of the space robotics technology. These include high‐precision robotic manipulators for microsurgical operations and dexterous arm control systems.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 March 2008

Abstract

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Hui Li and Cheng Zhong

This study aims to find a feasible precise navigation model for the planed Lunar rover. Autonomous navigation is one of the most important missions in the Chinese Lunar…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to find a feasible precise navigation model for the planed Lunar rover. Autonomous navigation is one of the most important missions in the Chinese Lunar exploration project. Machine vision is expected to be a promising option for this mission because of the dramatic development of an image processing technique. However, existing attempts are often subject to low accuracy and errors accumulation.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, a novel autonomous navigation model was developed, based on the rigid geometric and photogrammetric theory, including stereo perception, relative positioning and absolute adjustment. The first step was planned to detect accurate three-dimensional (3D) surroundings around the rover by matching stereo-paired images; the second was used to decide the local location and orientation changes of the rover by matching adjacent images; and the third was adopted to find the rover’s location in the whole scene by matching ground image with satellite image. Among them, the SURF algorithm that had been commonly believed as the best algorithm for matching images was adopted to find matched images.

Findings

Experiments indicated that the accurate 3D scene, relative positioning and absolute adjustment were easily generated and illustrated with the matching results. More importantly, the proposed algorithm is able to match images with great differences in illumination, scale and observation angle. All experiments and findings in this study proved that the proposed method could be an alternative navigation model for the planed Lunar rover.

Originality/value

With the matching results, an accurate 3D scene, relative positioning and absolute adjustment of rover can be easily generated. The whole test proves that the proposed method could be a feasible navigation model for the planed Lunar rover.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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