Design-Build-Test of a Planetary Surface Robot Suspension


NASA's Mars robot explorers use a 6-wheeled 'Rocker and Bogie' suspension arrangement to allow them to climb over boulder-strewn surfaces. This project will investigate this suspension design, and propose modifications (or a completely new design) to allow navigation over typical Earthly surfaces, such as kerbs and stairs or rock outcrops like you would find at the seaside. Your approach to design will be informed by your literature study; there's lots of design theory out there. You may choose to create a simulation (e.g. using Unreal-4) or you may wish to skip this step. Finally, you will create a suspension system, using a mix of laser-cut and 3D-printed components, and you would test this on a range of terrains and obstacle sizes and separation. Your conclusions could provide some design hints for future suspension research.

Colin Price
Diagram of Rocker-Bogie Suspension
Research Question
Proposed Primary Research