Terramechanics


Wheel-Soil interaction model based on Terramechanics


The surface terrain of the Moon or a planet is largely covered with a fine-grained loose soil. On such loose soil, the wheels of a rover easily slip and lose traction. Therefore, investigations on the contact and traction mechanics between the wheels and the soil are important in order to better understand the motion behavior of a rover on loose soil.

In this research, a physical traction model of a rigid wheel on loose soil has been developed based on Terramechanics . The wheel-soil interaction model enables to calculate 3-axis wheel forces such as traction force, side force, and vertical force.

By conducting experiments using the single-wheel test bed (as shown in the following figure), the validity of the developed model has been confirmed. The experimental results also agree well with numerical simulation results whicih are calculated by the proposed model.

Further, Analysis on dynamics characteristics of lunar/planetary exploration rover is also discussed based on this research.


(The following figures are clickable.)




Wheel-soil contact model


Single wheel experimental facility




movie.1 (7.9MB)



movie 2 (7.0MB)



movie 3 (2.8MB)





--- Related papers ---

"Terramechanics-Based Model for Steering Maneuver of Planetary Exploration Rovers on Loose Soil"
The Journal of Field Robotics, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp. 233-250.
G.Ishigami, A.Miwa, K.Nagatani and K.Yoshida


[5] "Steering Characteristics of a Rigid Wheel for Exploration on Loose Soil"
2004 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2004), Miyagi, Japan, September 2004
K.Yoshida and G.Ishigami

[3] "Terramechanics-Based Analysis for Slope Climbing Capability of a Lunar/Planetary Rover"
The 24th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science (ISTS 2004), Miyazaki, Japan, June 2004
K.Yoshida N.Mizuno, G.Ishigami and A.Miwa

[2] "Terramechanics-Based Analysis and Traction Control of a Lunar / Planetary Rover"
The 4th Int. Conf. on Field and Service Robotics (FSR 2003), Yamanashi, Japan, July 2003
K.Yoshida, T.Watanabe, N.Mizuno and G.Ishigami

[1] "Slip, Traction Control, and Navigation of a Lunar Rover"
The 6th Int. Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (i-SAIRAS 2003), Nara, Japan, May 2003
K.Yoshida, T.Watanabe, N.Mizuno and G.Ishigami



(c) The Space Robotics Lab, Tohoku University, JAPAN
All right reserved.



Last update April 23rd 2007

Back to the Top of the Lab