Influence of the transmission configuration of a multiple axle vehicle on the obstacle surmounting capacity
Conventional wheeled vehicles have serious mobility limitations in rough terrain while walking vehicles have inherent drawbacks such as a high number of DOF and actuators, control complexity and low-energy efficiency. Vehicles that passively adapt the position of multiple wheels to maintain contact with the ground can be a good compromise between both conventional wheeled and walking vehicles. One way to increase the number of wheels in contact with the ground is using bogies. However, the kinematics of a multiple axle vehicle moving on irregular terrain is quite complex since every wheel can require different angular speed to avoid slippage. The present work aims to quantify the obstacle surmounting capacity of a four axle, double-bogie vehicle depending on the transmission configuration, since it can provoke the slippage of some of its wheels. Some results are presented corresponding to the vehicle moving on a straight upward slope of different angles and facing variable obstacles in any of its axles. It can be observed that as more restricted the transmission is, more wheels are forced to slip and less traction the vehicle has, and, as a consequence, less obstacle surmounting capacity.