The resistance force generated when the locked-wheel acts on the soil is critical for deciding the traveling performance of push–pull locomotion. The resistance force depends on the tangential force of the sliding soil wedge beneath the wheel, and the tangential force depends on the forces of the soil and the wheel perpendicular to the tangential direction. Hence, the normal stress distribution of the locked-wheel can affect the resistance force. Previous studies indicated different insights that describe either a uniform or non-uniform shape of the normal stress distribution. The distribution of the locked-wheel still needs to be examined experimentally. This study measured the normal stress distribution using the wheel sensor system, and the variation of the contact area and slip surface beneath the wheel were also observed in PIV analysis. Those results showed that the normal stress distribution was non-uniform along the wheel contact area, and the change of the distribution was confirmed with the change of the contact area and slip surface. Then, the resistance force calculated by a preliminary model based on the measured data was compared with the total resistance force of the wheel measured by a separate sensor. This comparison provided a theoretical consideration for the measured data.
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