EDEN / Rover Navigation / Motion Control
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Rover motion control

The motion control (or locomotion) system is in charge of controlling the wheels in order to execute as precisely as possible geometric trajectories or velocity commands, such as a couple of translational and rotational speeds. On rough terrains, this control problem is particularly difficult to achieve, as significant differences between the reference motion and the actual motion often occur. This is mainly due to strong wheel slippages caused by loose soil or rough rocky areas.

Two difficult situations for locomotion: a steep gravel slope and a rough rocky area to traverse

The problem is that the easiest and cheapest way to measure these differences is odometry, which by essence can not detect slippages. In the absence of other means to measure the motions at high rates, one must develop enhanced motion control strategies to prevent slippages as much as possible, and to detect them when they occur.

Moreover, there are situations where the application of simple motion commands to all wheels does not help to move at all. For instance, in the case of loose soil slopes (gravel or sand), all the wheels can slip together, which results in null motions (or even backward motions !). The rover Lama is endowed with a peristaltic motion mode, which can help to cope with such situations.

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