Mobile Robots in Rough Terrain: Estimation, Motion Planning, and Control with Application to Planetary Rovers

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This monograph discusses issues related to estimation, control, and motion planning for mobile robots operating in rough terrain, with particular attention to planetary exploration rovers. Rough terrain robotics is becoming increasingly important in space exploration, and industrial applications. However, most current motion planning and control algorithms are not well suited to rough terrain mobility, since they do not consider the physical characteristics of the rover and its environment. Specific addressed topics are: wheel terrain interaction modeling, including terrain parameter estimation and wheel terrain contact angle estimation; rough terrain motion planning; articulated suspension control; and traction control. Simulation and experimental results are presented that show that the desribed algorithms lead to improved mobility for robotic systems in rough terrain.