Planetary exploration rovers have required a high traveling performance to overcome obstacles such as loose soil and rocks. Push-pull locomotion rovers is a unique scheme, like an inchworm, and it has high traveling performance on loose soil. Push-pull locomotion uses the resistance force by keeping a locked-wheel related to the ground, whereas the conventional rotational traveling uses the shear force from loose soil. The locked-wheel is a key factor for traveling in the push-pull scheme. Understanding the sinking behavior and its resistance force is useful information for estimating the rover’s performance. Previous studies have reported the soil motion under the locked-wheel, the traction, and the traveling behavior of the rover. These studies were, however, limited to the investigation of the resistance force and amount of sinkage for the particular condition depending on the rover. Additionally, the locked-wheel sinks into the soil until it obtains the required force for supporting the other wheels’ motion. How the amount of sinkage and resistance forces are generated at different wheel sizes and mass of an individual wheel has remained unclear, and its estimation method hasn’t existed. This study, therefore, addresses the relationship between the sinkage and its resistance force, and we analyze and consider this relationship via the towing experiment and theoretical consideration. The results revealed that the sinkage reached a steady-state value and depended on the contact area and mass of each wheel, and the maximum resistance force also depends on this sinkage. Additionally, the estimation model did not capture the same trend as the experimental results when the wheel width changed, whereas, the model captured a relatively the same trend as the experimental result when the wheel mass and diameter changed.
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