Date of Original Version



Technical Report

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Abstract or Description

Configuration of robotic locomotion is a process that formulates, rationalizes and validates the robot’s mobility system. The configuration design describes the type and arrangement of traction elements, chassis geometry, actuation schemes for driving and steering, articulation and suspension for three-dimensional motions on terrain. These locomotion attributes are essential to position and move the robot and to negotiate terrain. However, configuration of robotic locomotion does not just involve the electromechanical aspects of design. As such, configuration of robotic locomotion should also be responsive to the issue of robotabilityÔ, which is the ability to accommodate sensing and teleoperation, and to execute autonomous planning in a reliable and efficient manner. Furthermore, configuration should address reliability by introducing and implementing margins to account for initial underestimates of mass, power, and mobility.

In this technical report we formulate a framework for systematic configuration of robotic locomotion to facilitate designs appropriate for execution of robotic functions. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of configuration requirements, mapping between the configuration requirements and locomotion subsystems, and analysis for evaluating fundamental configurations. We implement the framework on the locomotion configuration of a lunar robot and its terrestrial prototype.

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