Rovers are one of the most important vehicles used for conducting planetary exploration missions. This paper focuses on a small, lightweight rover that can be used for lunar exploration. It should be noted that, with a small rover, it is difficult to traverse loose soil such as that on the lunar surface. The rocks that cover the lunar surface, moreover, hinder the traversal of a small, lightweight rover. We develop a small, lightweight rover having 2 configurations to solve these tasks. One configuration involves the installation of elastic wheels whose 2 form changes depending on the surface that the rover traverses. The other configuration involves passive suspension using differential gears. We perform running experiments on rovers with these configurations. Experimental results prove that elastic wheels are more efficient than rigid wheels for traversing loose soil. We also found, moreover, that the proposed rover shows good climbing performance. We thus have shown the efficiency of the proposed small, lightweight rover in this study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- コンピュータ サイエンス（全般）