Rovers are reliable and versatile mobile robotic systems. In comparison to walking or flying mobile systems, rovers offer a good energy to mass trade-off, which means that they are well suited for high payloads.

We develop rover prototypes as well as re-usable, highly integrated robotic and mechatronic sub-modules. The general robotic hardware development follows the idea of concurrent engineering of the robotic key technologies: mechanics, electronic and computation. These developments are always combined with advanced simulations as part of the development process. The test and qualification plan of specific modules follows the space qualification standards to increase the TRL (Technology Readiness Level).

The Robotics and Mechatronics Center (RMC) has a long history of robotic developments for space and terrestrial applications, e.g. ROKVISS, DEXHAND, EXOMARS, LWR III and Rollin Justin and many more.

Hardware

For the mobile robot software development, we partly use commercial available systems such as Pioneers robots and RC-Cars:

 

The Asimov Jr. R3 has been developed in collaboration with the Part Time Scientists. The rover is 60 centimeters long, 40 centimeters wide and has a height of 50 centimeters. The weight is roughly 29 kilograms. The RMC support the PTS group with knowledge, manpower and advice. The Asimov Jr. R3 rover includes the drivetrain and the autonomous waypoint navigation from RMC. We use the rover for advancing autonomous navigation in uneven, natural terrain as well as multi-robot collaboration.

The MPE (Mobile Payload Element) is an ESA driven project within the European Lunar Lander mission. The small and light weight, 10 kg class rover shall be used at the lunar south pool for fetching samples of the surface and delivering them to the lander. The phase A0-delta results of the current development are shown below.

The RMC is responsible for the locomotion sub system and the autonomous waypoint navigation technology experiment. The MPE project is lead by Kayser Threde GmbH.

Topics

  • highly integrated joint modules
  • pan tilt subsystems
  • wheel development
  • drive electronics
  • computing electronics and small components for mobile robots
  • position sensors
  • sealing and envelops
  • intelligent control strategies
  • multi body modeling

Contact us for student work, internships, bachelor and master theses in this area.

Projects

  • EXOMARS (Phase A & B) - Lead: Ruag Swizz
  • MPE - Mobile Payload Element within the ESA Lunar Lander mission - Lead: Kayser Threde GmbH
  • PTS - Part time Scientists - a German GLXP Partner Cooperation
  • ROV-E - EU Project
  • TEAM - DLR internal Project
  • ROBEX - HGF Alliance Project
  • ....

Methods

For autonomous waypoint navigation, the rover is equipped with a stereo camera and an inertial measurement unit as sensors:

 

Contact

Dr. Armin Wedler

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics
Department of Mechatronic Components and Systems
Münchner Straße 20
82234 Weßling-Oberpfaffenhofen
Germany
 
email: armin (dot) wedler (at) dlr (dot) de
Copyright © 2014 German Aerospace Center (DLR). All rights reserved.