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Axel: A Minimalist Tethered Rover for Exploration of Extreme Planetary Terrains

Abad-Manterola, Pablo and Edlund, Jeffrey A. and Burdick, Joel W. and Wu, Albert and Oliver, Thomas and Nesnas, Issa A. D. and Cecava, Johanna (2009) Axel: A Minimalist Tethered Rover for Exploration of Extreme Planetary Terrains. IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 16 (4). pp. 44-52. ISSN 1070-9932. doi:10.1109/MRA.2009.934821.

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Recent scientific findings suggest that some of the most interesting sites for future exploration of planetary surfaces lie in terrains that are currently inaccessible to conventional robotic rovers. To provide robust and flexible access to these terrains, we have been developing Axel, the robotic rover. Axel is a lightweight two-wheeled vehicle that can access steep terrains and negotiate relatively large obstacles because of its actively managed tether and novel wheel design. This article reviews the Axel system and focuses on those system components that affect Axel's steep terrain mobility. Experimental demonstrations of Axel on sloped and rocky terrains are presented.

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Additional Information:© 2009 IEEE. The work of this collaboration between Caltech and JPL was performed at JPL under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The authors sincerely appreciate the sponsorship of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and Solar Systems Exploration program: Dr. C. Moore, Dr. S. Khanna, Dr. T.Y. Yan, Dr. J. Cutts, and Dr. K. Reh. We also appreciate the support of Dr. S. Hayati, Dr. R. Volpe, and Dr. G. Udomkesmalee of JPL.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Field robots; search and rescue robots; space robotics; extreme terrain; sampling
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100127-083604586
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17310
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Jan 2010 19:31
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:34

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