IROS 2015 Paper Abstract


Paper ThDT2.5

Comin, Francisco (University of Surrey), Saaj, Chakravarthini (University of Surrey)

Planetary Soil Classification Based on the Analysis of the Interaction with Deformable Terrain of a Wheel-Legged Robot

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular session "Space Robotics and Automation" (ThDT2), Thursday, October 1, 2015, 15:00−15:15, Saal A4

2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Sept 28 - Oct 03, 2015, Congress Center Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on July 20, 2019

Keywords Space Robotics and Automation, Model Learning, Wheeled Robots


In off-road applications, where mobile robots operate on rough environments, the physical properties of the terrain play a key role on their performance. An extreme example is posed by planetary rover missions to Mars, for which communication constraints and the inability of vision based approaches to detect non-geometric hazards, e.g. sand traps hidden below thin duricrusts, can lead to permanent immobilisation, as experienced by NASA’s Spirit rover. To prevent such events, this paper proposes a method to classify dry granular soils according to their physical properties by using an on-board sensor system for on-line analysis of sinkage, slippage and vibrations of the hybrid wheel-legs mounted on a highly mobile robot. As reflected by the experimental results, obtained using a single wheel-leg test bed, the novel approach produces an efficient and robust differentiation of soils with dissimilar physical properties. This output can enable autonomous avoidance of non-geometric hazards without endangering the mobility of the mission. Different classifier algorithms are trained, validated and compared in terms of classification accuracy and computational efficiency, revealing the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.



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