Omnidirectional vehicles have been widely applied in several areas, but most of them are designed for the case of motion on flat, smooth terrain, and are not feasible for outdoor usage. This paper presents the design and development of an omnidirectional mobile robot that possesses high mobility in rough terrain. The omnidirectional robot consists of a main body with four sets of mobility modules, called an active split offset caster (ASOC). The ASOC module has independently driven dual wheels that produce arbitrary planar translational velocity, enabling the robot to achieve its omnidirectional motion. Each module is connected to the main body via a parallel link with shock absorbers, allowing the robot to conform to uneven terrain. In this paper, the design and development of the ASOC-driven omnidirectional mobile robot for rough terrain are described. A control scheme that considers the kinematics of the omnidirectional mobile robot is presented. The mobility of the robot is also evaluated experimentally based on a metric called the ASOC mobility index. The mobility evaluation test clarifies a design tradeoff between terrain adaptability and omnidirectional mobility due to the shock absorbers. In addition, an odometry improvement technique that can reduce position estimation error due to wheel slippage is proposed. Experimental odometry tests confirmed that the proposed technique is able to improve the odometry accuracy for sharp-turning maneuvers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Computer Science Applications