Volume 23 Issue 10/11- Publication Date: 1 October - November 2004
Special Issue on the 5th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots, CLAWAR 2002
Stability and Traction Optimization of a Reconfigurable Wheel-Legged Robot
C. Grand, F. Benamar, F. Plumet, P. Bidaud Laboratoire de Robotique de Paris (LRP), Université Pierre et Marie Curie, CNRS FRE2507, Paris, France

Actively articulated locomotion systems such as hybrid wheel-legged vehicles are a possible way to enhance the locomotion performance of an autonomous mobile robot. In this paper, we address the control of the wheel-legged robot Hylos traveling on irregular sloping terrain. The redundancy of such a system is used to optimize both the balance of traction forces and the tipover stability. The general formulation of this optimization problem is presented, and a suboptimal but computationally efficient solution is proposed. Then, an algorithm to control the robot posture, based on a velocity model, is described. Finally, this algorithm is validated through simulations and experiments that show the capabilities of such a redundantly actuated vehicle to enhance its own safety and autonomy in critical environments.

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