Consideration of Mounted Position of Grousers on Flexible Wheels for Lunar Exploration Rovers to Traverse Loose Soil

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper presents the effectiveness of the flexible wheels for lunar exploration rovers. The flexible wheels have high performance while it is traversing loose soil. The flexible wheel is an effective scheme to traverse loose soil without poor condition. The flexible wheel has the surface which can be changed flexibly toward rough terrain. When the surface of wheel performs matching in a shape of ground to traverse, the normal stress between the wheel and loose soil becomes small. We can prevent from sinking because the normal stress is small. However, the flexible wheel doesn’t have high performance without grousers. The grouser is very important to get thrust for rovers. From running experiments using single wheel tester, we found that the flexible wheel with grousers has high performance. The mounted positions of grousers on surface of wheel are defined as same angle (e.g., 36°). This means that there are two patterns to mount grousers. One is under limb and the other is between grousers. There is difference of the spring force under limb and other. The spring force under ribs is different than it is between ribs. Moreover, each deformation is different. From these considerations, we need to lead the optimal position for grousers. We carried out running experiments using wheel with both patterns. From experimental results, we understood the wheel with the position mounted between limbs has better performance than when it is set under limb.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntelligent Systems, Control and Automation
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Engineering
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameIntelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering
ISSN (Print)2213-8986
ISSN (Electronic)2213-8994


  • Flexible wheel
  • Grousers
  • Loose soil
  • Lunar exploration rovers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization


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