Development of grousers with a tactile sensor for wheels of lunar exploration rovers to measure sinkage

Kojiro Iizuka, Tatsuya Sasaki, Mitsuhiro Yamano, Takashi Kubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a grouser developed for the wheels of lunar exploration rovers to measure sinkage. The wheels, which are intended to traverse loose soil such as lunar regolith, contain grousers that transfer thrust to the wheels and thus to the body of the rover. The interaction between the wheel (with grousers) and the loose soil can be described using a kinematic model. When traversing loose soil, the wheel sinks into the soil, which necessitates knowledge of the entrance angle needed in order to avoid this problem. If the entrance angle is known, the sinkage can be measured in real time before adverse conditions occur. Because of the importance and usefulness of detecting the entrance angle of the wheel, we herein propose a grouser with an embedded tactile sensor. A strain gauge on the surface of the grousers serves as the tactile sensor. In order to confirm the precision of the proposed grouser, we have performed tests on a rigid surface and loose soil surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 26
Externally publishedYes


  • Grouser
  • Loose soil
  • Lunar exploration rovers
  • Strain gauge
  • Tactile sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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