To enhance the mobility of the USU T-class of vehicles, the T3 vehicle has been developed that incorporates Z-axis motion of the drive wheel modules. Moving the wheels up and down provides the ability to pitch and roll the vehicle chassis and move the vehicle center of gravity to change the force distribution on the individual drive wheels. The omni- directional capability of the vehicle provides the capability to align the vehicle with the slope gradient that maximizes the vehicle stability. This paper shows that by pitching the vehicle into the slope, that the uphill traction limit of the vehicle can be increased by about 10 degree(s). Future research efforts concerning stair climbing, step negotiation, and obstacle field navigation are also discussed.
Shayne C. Rich,
Carl G. Wood,
"ODV mobility enhancement using active height control", Proc. SPIE 4024, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology II, (10 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.391623; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.391623