1491 / Design and Verification of a Creeping Mars Rover

Paper presented at the 11th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the ISTVS


Title: Design and Verification of a Creeping Mars Rover

Authors: Wangjun Zhang, Yang Jia, and Zhuo Tao

Abstract: Aiming at the possible wheel sinkage, difficulty in climbing and underpinning of Mars rover with traditional passive suspension due to the complex terrain of Mars surface, the characteristics of the inchworm motion are imitated, and a creeping Mars rover is designed, include the design of sinkage and extrication, slope-climbing, anti-underpinning, and wheel-lifting. The key parameters of the mobile system of creeping rover are identified and the key parameter values of different rover lift heights and the displacement value of a creeping cycle are calculated. and the results show that the creeping rover can solve the above problems encountered by the passive suspension rover. Ground tests and flight tests have been carried out on the designed creeping rover, and the ground tests have verified the ability of wheel sinkage and extrication, obstacle-overcoming, and slope-climbing. As an example of the application of the creeping rover, the “Zhurong” Mars rover has undergone flight tests, and its successful operation on the surface of Mars shows that the design measures of the creeping are effective.

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