Automation and Robotics for human Mars Exploration
Concept of a 6-Legged Rover
In addition to the AROMA study, we have developed an innovative, 6-legged micro-rover concept.
The kinematics of the rover is based on six dexterous four-joint fingers from DLR robot hand II. The fingers, here used as legs, are attached to a central body in a beetle-like configuration and enable the overall system to manoeuvre in a rocky terrain (e.g., planetary surface). Moreover, since all of the joints are equipped with force/torque sensors, the rover’s motion can be very sensitive.
The kernel of the rover’s motion control is the Inverse Kinematics algorithm developed as part of a virtual assembly and simulation environment of the modular light-weight robot III system. The powerful algorithm can control tree-like multi-constraint kinematic systems and enables the rover to move in a natural beetle-like posture taking kinematic and dynamic preferences (e.g., minimum power consumption) and limitations (e.g., joint angle range) into account.