Design and Control of a New Reconfigurable Robotic Mobility Platform

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Johns, Byron Edward
Howard, Ayanna M.
Sadegh, Nader
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The development of a new family of robotic vehicles for use in the exploration of Mars and other remote planets is an ongoing process. Current rovers have to traverse rough terrain and be able to withstand various conditions on Mars. The goal of this project is to design a new Mars rover mobility system that performs to optimum capability. This project will involve the design and control of a robot that will use wheels, as well as legs, allowing the robot to reconfigure itself to adapt to its current environment and traverse various terrains. This new reconfigurable hybrid robotic vehicle, Byrobot (named after the student), will have a six-legged mobility design for walking. Each leg will have 3 degrees of freedom, controlled by 3 separate servos, for the movement of the legs. Byrobot will also have 4 wheels each directly attached to the shaft of a DC motor, for four-wheel differential drive. By having these two mobility systems, Byrobot will be able to operate in various environments, by capitalizing on the advantages of both legged and wheeled robots. The CAD designing for this new robot is done on Pro-Engineer, and mechanisms and animations will be run to test movement of parts. The actual robot hardware will then be constructed in the Georgia Tech MRDC machine shop. The control system for the robot will be run by the Eyebot, which uses a 25MHz 32bit Controller (Motorola 68332), as well as the SSC-32 Servo Controller from Lynxmotion. This new robotic mobility platform will facilitate future Mars exploration.
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